AGA Comments on EPA NPDES Electronic Reporting Rule Proposal (October 28, 2013)
AGA submitted comments responding to the Environmental Protection Agency’s Notice proposing a nationwide NPDES Electronic Reporting Rule program. See Proposed Rule, 78 Fed. Reg. 46006 (July 30, 2013). AGA’s comments supported improvements to the NPDES framework to achieve a consistent nationwide electronic reporting program across all states, tribes and territories that administer the reporting program. Our comments noted that AGA members will be affected by changes to the NPDES reporting program because gas utilities routinely submit documents and information for coverage under state and federal construction stormwater general permits, as well as inspection documentation under those permits for routine utility land disturbances. Our comments also noted that in addition to state-wide and regional EPA permitting requirements, utilities are often required to submit permitting and compliance information to comply with municipal construction stormwater permitting programs. Accordingly, our comments requested that EPA issue a supplementary notice for public comment that provides greater specificity to the proposed reporting requirements with regard to any mandatory or “threshold” compliance requirements for all electronic programs. We also requested that any new mandatory reporting requirements should be phased in over a period of time, with provisions to grandfather existing state programs to promote the efficient administration of existing electronic reporting frameworks.