EHS Management

How E-Enterprise Figures in EPA’s 2017 Budget, Cont.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is modernizing its approach to environmental compliance and efficiency through a project called “E-Enterprise for the Environment.” Yesterday we reviewed EPA’s plans for E-Enterprise as outlined in the Agency’s 2017 budget pertaining to air quality, water quality, and inspections. Today we will look at EPA’s budgetary plans for compliance and a data exchange network under the E-Enterprise initiative.

Recap. You can review the basic premise of E-Enterprise and how it affects the regulated community as well as some of the comments the EPA has received concerning E-Enterprise.

E-Enterprise and Next-Generation Compliance

The EPA budget for fiscal year (FY) 2017 includes a $1.8 million increase for an E-Enterprise project that includes partnering with states to develop and implement electronic reporting tools for national pollutant discharge elimination systems (NPDES) and modernizing the Enforcement and Compliance History Online (ECHO).

According to the EPA, the Agency’s Next-Generation Compliance approach complements the E-Enterprise strategy to modernize government agencies’ delivery of environmental protection. Under this strategy, the Agency intends to streamline its business processes and systems to reduce reporting burden and to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of regulatory programs.

The EPA says that in FY 2017, the Enforcement and Compliance Assurance program will continue to align with the E-Enterprise business strategy as an integral part of the agency’s focus to increase the efficiency of the inspection process and to modernize enforcement and compliance data systems.

Ongoing projects include:

  • Partnering with states to develop and implement fillable e-forms for electronically reporting NPDES information;
  • Supporting NPDES e-reporting rule implementation and program evaluation;
  • Purchasing advanced monitoring equipment; and
  • Supporting transparency through the ECHO database and transition of the Air Facility System to the Integrated Compliance Information System (ICIS-Air).

Specifically, in FY 2017, the EPA plans to enhance its analytical capabilities for analyzing large data sets and displaying the results in a geospatial platform (i.e., EPA’s Geo-platform). The EPA contends that these efforts will lead to better targeting of areas of most concern and will produce evidence that demonstrates the need for continued investment in enhanced data analytics.

According to the Agency, the EPA and states will be better able to prioritize enforcement resources based on evidence that indicates where they are most needed, such as complex industrial operations requiring physical inspection, repeat violators, cases involving significant harm to human health or the environment, or potential criminal violations.


E-Enterprise and the Exchange Network

The FY 2017 budget includes a $8.4 million increase for projects under the Exchange Network that are intended to enable states, tribes, and the EPA to modernize business processes following E-Enterprise principles. The projects supported under the FY 2017 budget are meant to tie together EPA’s environmental program databases and information requirements and to facilitate industries to routinely conduct environmental business transactions with the EPA.

Note. The Exchange Network is a collaboration among states, territories, tribes, and the EPA to provide better access to high-quality environmental data.

You can keep up with the EPA and state agency trends and initiatives with 24/7 access to®.


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