Christopher L. Rissetto and Mark A. Mustian
September 25, 2013
Since the National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit requirements were first adopted by EPA back in 1972, the program has undergone significant changes. Categorical limitations, storm water permitting, toxics control, and biotoxicity testing are just a few of the many issues that have been implemented or significantly changed over the past 40 years. However, one aspect of the NPDES program has remained remarkably unchanged over this period. For a significant portion of the regulated community, permit compliance is still demonstrated in the same manner as always. The permittee will collect samples of his discharge, analyze the samples for the pollutants of concern, fill out a paper copy of his Discharge Monitoring Report (DMR) – often by hand – and then mail a copy of the report to the permitting authority. As proposed by EPA July 30, this approach will go the way of the typewriter. EPA is proposing to require most of the regulated community to submit monitoring data and other reports electronically to be compiled into a nationwide database.