40 CFR Part 3

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The Title 40 Code of Federal Regulations Part 3 (40 CFR Part 3) — sometimes referred to as the Cross-Media Electronic Reporting Rule (CROMERR) — provides for electronic reporting (in lieu of a paper document) to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Within this part, requirements are created to ensure that electronic reporting to the EPA is enacted in a satisfactory way to satisfy federal or authorized program reporting requirements, including those requiring an electronic signature.[1]

History

On August 31, 2001, the EPA "published a notice of proposed rulemaking, announcing the goal of making electronic reporting and electronic recordkeeping available under EPA regulatory programs."[2] However, the EPA had been working on plans related to such a proposal (referred to as Cross-Media Electronic Reporting) well before, stating in its review of its final rule that the process actually "reflects more than ten years of interaction with stakeholders," including "electronic reporting pilot projects conducted with state agency partners, including the States of Pennsylvania, New York, Arizona, and several others."[2] This also involved collaboration with more than half of U.S. states in May 1997 on the State Electronic Commerce/Electronic Data Interchange Steering Committee (SEES) and a series of conferences starting in 1999 to acquire stakeholders' thoughts. Public commenting closed on February 27, 2002, with the EPA receiving 184 collection of written comments. The EPA made additional adjustments to the proposal, which culminated in a final version of CROMERR that was codified into Title 40 as Part 3 on October 13, 2005 and made effective January 11, 2006.[2]

On December 24, 2008, minor adjustments were made to CROMERR that extended compliance dates for existing systems making the transition to electronic filing to the EPA.[3]

Structure

The structure of Part 3 is as follows:

Subpart A — General Provisions

§ 3.1 Who does this part apply to?
§ 3.2 How does this part provide for electronic reporting?
§ 3.3 What definitions are applicable to this part?
§ 3.4 How does this part affect enforcement and compliance provisions of Title 40?

Subpart B — Electronic Reporting to EPA

§ 3.10 What are the requirements for electronic reporting to EPA?
§ 3.20 How will EPA provide notice of changes to the Central Data Exchange?

Subpart C — [Reserved]

Subpart D — Electronic Reporting Under EPA-Authorized State, Tribe, and Local Programs

§ 3.1000 How does a state, tribe, or local government revise or modify its authorized program to allow electronic reporting?
§ 3.2000 What are the requirements authorized state, tribe, and local programs' reporting systems must meet?
Appendix 1 to Part 3 Priority Reports

Subpart A

This is essentially the preamble of the regulations, explaining to what and who the regulations apply as well as how they'll apply. Definitions of common terms appearing in the regulations can also be found here, including a description of electronic signature devices.

Subpart B

This section covers the requirements applicable to electronic record formats and their submission to the EPA's Central Data Exchange (CDX) or other related EPA systems. It also provides guidelines on how the EPA will notify CDX users of hardware and software changes that affect transmission.

Subpart C

Subpart C is blank, "reserved for future EPA electronic recordkeeping requirements."[2]

Subpart D

This final section provides in-depth requirements for revising state, local, and tribal government programs for electronic submissions as well as outlining the reporting system requirements. In particular it lays out a list of requirements for data generated from electronic document receiving systems, including security, audit trail, quality control, and electronic signatures.

Central Data Exchange

The EPA's Central Data Exchange (CDX) is used by EPA offices, local and state governments, private industries, and Indian tribes required to submit environmental data related to more than 60 programs in the United States, including the Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program, the RadNet program, and the Verify engine and vehicle compliance program.[4][5] The EPA touts CDX as an important component of operations as well as meeting 40 CFR Part 3 compliance, claiming reductions in reporting burdens, cost, and data transfer times as well as increases in data quality and compliance.[6]

As of mid-February 2015, the CDX had more than 296,000 registered users submitting data to 63 data feeds, with 10 additional data flows in development.[7]

Further reading

References

  1. "Electronic Code of Federal Regulations - Title 40: Protection of Environment - Part 3: Cross-media Electronic Reporting". U.S. Government Printing Office. http://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?c=ecfr&sid=5ff3a0efed913ef8fae9e225869688a2&rgn=div5&view=text&node=40:1.0.1.1.3&idno=40. Retrieved 02 March 2012. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 "Cross-Media Electronic Reporting". Federal Register. OFR/GPO. 13 October 2005. https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2005/10/13/05-19601/cross-media-electronic-reporting. Retrieved 06 February 2015. 
  3. "CROMERR 101: Fundamentals for States, Tribes, and Local Governments" (PDF). U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. http://www.epa.gov/cromerr/training/cromerr101/cromerr_course_summary.pdf. Retrieved 09 February 2015. 
  4. "About CDX". U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. http://www.epa.gov/cdx/about/index.htm. Retrieved 09 February 2015. 
  5. "Production Data Flows". U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. https://web.archive.org/web/20141017114023/http://www.epa.gov/cdx/projects/production.htm. Retrieved 09 February 2015. 
  6. "CDX Benefits". U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. http://www.epa.gov/cdx/benefits/index.htm. Retrieved 09 February 2015. 
  7. "Central Data Exchange". U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Archived from the original on 09 February 2015. https://web.archive.org/web/20150209185915/http://www.epa.gov/cdx/. Retrieved 09 February 2015.