In an effort to modernize the Clean Water Act, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is proposing a rule that would establish an electronic data reporting process. The agency estimates that eliminating paper will save National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System administrators $29 million annually.

“In addition to dramatically cutting costs for states and other regulatory authorities, the e-reporting rule will substantially expand transparency by making it easier for everyone to quickly access critical data on pollution that may be affecting communities,” said Cynthia Giles, assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance, in a press release. “The e-reporting rule will also allow states and other regulatory authorities to focus limited resources on the most serious water quality problems, which will lead to increased compliance, improved water quality, and a level playing field for the regulated community.”

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