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NPDES Electronic Reporting Rule

Provides an overview of the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) electronic reporting rule, updates to effective dates, and a summary of completed outreach efforts.

Electronic Reporting Rule Overview

On Sept. 24, 2015, the EPA signed the Final National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Electronic Reporting Rule Exit the TCEQ which requires NPDES regulated entities to electronically submit specific permit and compliance monitoring information instead of filing paper reports.

This rule was implemented in two phases. Phase I became effective on Dec. 21, 2016, and Phase II will become effective on Dec. 21, 2025. Please note, although the EPA extended the compliance deadline for implementation of Phase II from Dec. 21, 2020 to Dec. 21, 2025, TCEQ is implementing some of the Phase II requirements prior to this federal deadline. Refer to your TCEQ authorization for your specific compliance deadline. The following is a brief summary of the Phase I and Phase II requirements and updates* as they apply to NPDES regulated entities.

Phase I Requirements – effective Dec. 21, 2016

  • All NPDES regulated entities that are required to submit discharge monitoring reports (DMRs) must do so electronically using NetDMR.
  • NPDES regulated entities include facilities that discharge wastewater (for example, facilities classified as major or minor dischargers, individually permitted facilities, and facilities covered by general permits).

Phase II Requirements – effective Dec. 21, 2025*

  • All NPDES regulated entities that are required to submit a notice of intent (NOI), a notice of termination (NOT), a no exposure certification (NEC), or a low erosivity waiver (LEW) must do so electronically using STEERS.
  • NPDES regulated entities that are required to submit the following periodic reports must do so electronically: Sewage Sludge/Biosolids Annual Program Reports, Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation (CAFO) Annual Program Reports, Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) Program Reports, Pretreatment Program Reports, Significant Industrial User Compliance Reports (in municipalities without approved pretreatment programs), Sewer Overflow/Bypass Event Reports, and CWA Section 316(b) Annual Reports.

* Notes: Although the EPA extended the compliance deadline for implementation of Phase II until Dec. 21, 2025, TCEQ is implementing some of the Phase II requirements prior to this federal deadline. Refer to your TCEQ authorization for your specific compliance deadline. Refer to the “Electronic Reporting Waiver” section below for information on TCEQ issued waivers.

* Effective Sept. 1, 2017, applicants seeking authorization under the Multi-Sector General Permit (TXR050000), Ready Mixed Concrete General Permit (TXG110000), and the Pesticide General Permit (TXG870000) must submit applicable applications (i.e., Notice of Intent (NOI), No Exposure Certification (NEC), Notice of Termination (NOT), Notice of Change (NOC)) using the online e-permitting system (STEERS) available through the TCEQ website or request and obtain an electronic reporting waiver.

* Effective Sept. 1, 2018, applicants seeking authorization under the Construction General Permit (TXR150000) must submit applicable applications (i.e., Notice of Intent (NOI), Notice of Termination (NOT), Notice of Change (NOC), Low Rainfall Erosivity Waiver (LREW)) using the online e-permitting system (STEERS) available through the TCEQ website or request and obtain an electronic reporting waiver.

Electronic Reporting Waiver

The TCEQ may grant Temporary Waivers to the electronic reporting rule in limited cases. If you are unable to report electronically, you can submit a Request for Electronic Reporting Waiver Microsoft Word Document form (TCEQ-20754). A separate form is required for each permit or authorization requesting a waiver.

TCEQ has mailed the following electronic reporting waiver letters to affected permittees.

  • June 2020 – Temporary waiver letters were mailed to facilities required to submit Sewage Sludge/Biosolids Annual Program Reports. These reports include the submittal of TPDES Sludge Discharge Monitoring Reports (DMRs) and supporting written information. This waiver only applies to the written information (for example: sewage sludge certification statements and analytical lab test reports). This waiver does not apply to sludge DMRs, which must continue to be submitted using the NetDMR reporting system. Domestic wastewater discharge permittees must continue to submit sludge DMRs electronically via NetDMR, and a written copy of the sewage sludge/ biosolids annual report to the appropriate TCEQ Regional Office until the waiver expires on December 21, 2020.

  • June 2020 – Temporary waiver letters were mailed to facilities required to submit Pretreatment Annual Reports because the online reporting tool is not yet available. This temporary waiver expires on December 21, 2023.

  • August 2020 Permanent waiver letters were issued for the permit term of Texas Land Application Permits (TLAPs) because the federal electronic reporting requirements were inadvertently included in some of these state permits.

  • August 2020 – Temporary waiver letters were mailed to Publicly Owned Treatment Works (POTWs) with permits that require electronic written reports for unauthorized discharges and unanticipated bypasses. The online reporting tool is not yet available, and this temporary waiver expires on December 21, 2023.

  • December 2020 – Update regarding annual reports for Phase I and Phase II Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) Stormwater Permits: These permits require annual reports to be submitted electronically as of September 1, 2020, and December 21, 2020, respectively; however, the online reporting tool is not yet available. Waivers will be sent to permittees in the near future by the TCEQ Stormwater Permitting program which may be reached by phone at (512) 239-4671.

Completed Outreach Efforts

The TCEQ has provided information on this rule to regulated entities, trade associations, training providers, advisory committee members, and permittees through electronic newsletters, outreach events, workshops, and meetings throughout the state. In addition, the following outreach materials have been distributed on this topic.

Where can I find more information and assistance?

The TCEQ's Small Business and Local Government Assistance Section offers free, confidential help to small businesses and local governments working to comply with state environmental regulations. Call us at (800) 447-2827 or visit our webpage at TexasEnviroHelp.org.