Environmental Reporting in the US

Environmental reporting in the USA is at both federal and state level and is grouped into discharges to water, air and soil.  Federal reporting is managed by the Environment Protection Agency (EPA). The basic framework for environmental reporting for potentially polluting organisations is the Clean Air Act and the Clean Water Act. 

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Discharges to the Air

Under the Clean Air Act (CAA), the EPA must set National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) and to regulate Hazardous Air Pollutants (HAPs).  It delegates this responsibility to states, who must adopt State Implementation Plans (SIPs), and have them approved by the EPA.  In this way, although all states must meet the same standards, how this is achieved will vary from state to state.

The CAA also contains ambient air standards.  There is a standard, the National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS)

Discharges to the Water

The aim of the Clean Water Act (CWA) is to eliminate the discharge of all pollutants.  It then aims to restore and maintain waters so that they are clean, fishable and swimmable.

Under the Act, organisations that discharge to water courses must regularly report discharge water quality data to the federal EPA.

Federal reports are known as NPDES reports.  NPDES stands for National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System.  Compliance reporting under NPDES is via the Discharge Monitoring Reports (DMR) system.

Various reporting formats and layouts are also set at a state level, for example Arizona has its Self Monitoring Reporting Form (SMRF).  They have their myDEQ online submission facility to upload spreadsheets to.

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Environmental reporting in the US

 

 

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