40 CFR § 127.24 - Responsibilities regarding review of waiver requests from NPDES permittees, facilities, and entities subject to this part [see § 127.1(a)].

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§ 127.24 Responsibilities regarding review of waiver requests from NPDES permittees, facilities, and entities subject to this part [see § 127.1(a)].

(a) Under § 127.15, an NPDES permittee, facility, or entity subject to this part [see § 127.1(a)] may seek a waiver from electronic reporting. States, tribes, and territories that have received authorization from EPA to implement the NPDES program must review the temporary or permanent waiver requests that they receive and either approve or reject these requests within 120 days.

(b) The authorized NPDES state, tribe, or territory program must provide the permittee, facility, or entity with notice of the approval or rejection of their temporary or permanent waiver request from electronic reporting.

(c) The authorized NPDES state, tribal, or territory program must electronically transfer to EPA the minimum set of NPDES data (as specified in appendix A to this part) that they receive from permittees, facilities, or entities with a waiver from electronic reporting in accordance with § 127.23.

(d) Under § 127.15(d), episodic waivers from electronic reporting may be granted by the authorized NPDES program or the initial recipient to NPDES permittees, facilities, and entities. The authorized NPDES program or initial recipient granting an episodic waiver must provide notice, individually or through means of mass communication, regarding when such an episodic waiver is available, the facilities and entities that may use the episodic waiver, the likely duration of the episodic waiver, and any other directions regarding how facilities and entities should provide the minimum set of NPDES data (as well as other required information in compliance with statutes, regulations, the NPDES permit, another control mechanism, or an enforcement order) to the authorized NPDES program or the initial recipient. No waiver request from the NPDES permittee, facility or entity is required to obtain an episodic waiver from electronic reporting. The authorized NPDES program or initial recipient granting the episodic waiver will determine whether to allow facilities and entities to delay their electronic submissions for a short time (i.e., no more than 40 days) or to send hardcopy (paper) submissions.

(e) A state, tribe, or territory that is designated by EPA as the initial recipient (see §§ 127.2(b) and 127.27) for a NPDES data group [as defined in § 127.2(c)] may submit a request to EPA to establish an alternative compliance deadline for electronic reporting of one or more general permit reports, program reports, and related data elements (see Table 2 to appendix A). A State may request to establish an alternative compliance deadline for up to three years beyond the currently applicable date but not beyond December 21, 2028. It is the duty of the authorized NPDES program to apply for a new alternative compliance deadline.

(1) The alternative compliance deadline request shall:

(i) Be submitted to EPA by the Director, as defined in 40 CFR 122.2;

(ii) Identify each general permit, program report, and related data elements covered by the request and the corresponding alternative compliance deadline(s);

(iii) Identify each facility covered by the request and the corresponding alternative compliance deadline(s) (Note: This only applies if the request covers some but not all facilities subject to the general permit or program report requirement);

(iv) Be submitted at least 120 days prior to the applicable compliance deadline in Table 1 to 40 CFR 127.16 or an alternative compliance deadline previously approved by EPA; and

(v) Provide a rationale for the delay and enough details (e.g., tasks, milestones, roles and responsibilities, necessary resources) to clearly describe how the program will successfully implement electronic reporting for general permit, program report, and related data elements covered by the request.

(2) EPA will review each alternative compliance deadline request to see if it provides enough detail to accurately assess if the state has a reasonable plan to deploy electronic reporting by the requested alternative compliance deadline. EPA will return alternative compliance deadline requests with insufficient detail back to the Director within 30 days of receipt and provide recommendations. EPA intends to approve or deny each complete alternative compliance deadline request within 120 days of receipt. EPA will provide notice to the authorized NPDES program of EPA's approval or denial. The authorized NPDES program may re-apply if the initial request is denied by EPA.

(3) EPA will update its website after it approves a request to clearly identify the approved alternative compliance deadlines for each facility, general permit report, program report, and related data elements by authorized NPDES program. EPA will also post each alternative compliance deadline request and the corresponding Agency approval or denial notice after each determination. EPA will provide updated information on its website.

(f) EPA may, as it deems appropriate, establish an alternative compliance deadline for electronic reporting and data sharing for one or more facilities, general permit reports, program reports, and related data elements (see Table 2 to appendix A) in one or more authorized NPDES programs. EPA may establish an alternative compliance deadline up to three years beyond the currently applicable date, but in no event beyond December 21, 2028. Separately, EPA will provide notice to each authorized NPDES program covered by each alternative compliance deadline. This notice will detail how EPA will implement electronic reporting (when EPA is responsible for deploying one or more electronic reporting tools) or how it will receive data from authorized NPDES programs (when the authorized NPDES program is responsible for deploying one or more electronic reporting tools). EPA will update its website to clearly identify the alternative compliance deadlines for each facility, general permit report, program report, and related data elements by authorized NPDES program. This paragraph does not change the process for designating the initial recipient of electronic NPDES information from NPDES-regulated facilities. See § 127.27.

[80 FR 64102, Oct. 22, 2015, as amended at 85 FR 69199, Nov. 2, 2020]