The EPA's new Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS) are the latest air emission regulations and are making a big splash. But if you read deeper into the final MATS ruling, you'll notice something new appearing in EPA regulations...
We've already covered the basics of what the new MATS means for your environmental management efforts. Today we're going to examine not what you have to report, but how.
Yes, the MATS regulations specifically require you to use the EPA's online Electronic Reporting Tool (ERT) named CEDRI (Compliance & Emissions Data Reporting Interface) whenever you submit any form of MATs compliance documentation. That's not just your air emissions quantifications, but also your continuous emissions monitoring stats, performance test results, and compliance notifications.
So why is the EPA deliberately shifting away from hard copy report submissions?
In the final ruling they give these reasons:
- Electronic reporting is already a common element of modern life (they give the example of electronic banking and income taxes), so it makes sense to keep environmental reporting up to date with available technology.
- Electronic reporting reduces the work burden associated with environmental reporting. Less paperwork is always a good thing for people and the environment.
- It allows for data standardization, making for more efficient validation and reducing the number of incorrect/incomplete reports.
- Better data storage and more transparent environmental databases that the public/agencies can access.
The CEDRI system will allow environmental mangers to simply update their existing environmental records when submitting compliance reports, further reducing the burden on the regulated community.
Given all of the benefits of electronic air emissions reporting, it comes as no surprise that the EPA is gradually making it a standard requirement for future regulations. What this means for you, however, is that it's time to get comfortable with the idea of electronic reporting, if you aren't already.
If you'd like to see how we can help you with electronic environmental reporting, request a demo with one of our specialists today.
April 16, 2012