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9VAC25-31-1010. Waivers from electronic reporting.

A. VPDES permittees, facilities, and entities subject to this part must electronically submit the minimum set of NPDES data in compliance with this part, 40 CFR Part 3 (including, in all cases, 40 CFR Part 3 Subpart D), 9VAC25-31-110 or 9VAC25-870-370 as appropriate, and 9VAC25-31-840 L unless a waiver is granted in compliance with this section.

B. Temporary waivers from electronic reporting may be granted by the department for programs for which the department has received authorization to implement the NPDES program, in compliance with this section, to VPDES permittees, facilities, and entities subject to this part (see 9VAC25-31-950 A).

1. Each temporary waiver must not extend beyond five years. However, VPDES-regulated entities may reapply for a temporary waiver. It is the duty of the owner, operator, or duly authorized representative of the VPDES permittee, facility, and entity subject to this part to reapply for a new temporary waiver. The department cannot grant a temporary waiver to a VPDES-regulated entity without first receiving a temporary waiver request from the VPDES-regulated entity.

2. To apply for a temporary waiver, the owner, operator, or duly authorized representative of the VPDES permittee, facility, and entity subject to this part must submit the following information to their authorized VPDES program:

a. Facility name;

b. VPDES permit number (if applicable);

c. Facility address;

d. Name, address, and contact information for the owner, operator, or duly authorized facility representative;

e. Brief written statement regarding the basis for claiming such a temporary waiver; and

f. Any other information required by the department.

3. The department will determine whether to grant a temporary waiver. The department shall provide notice to the owner, operator, or duly authorized facility representative submitting a temporary waiver request in compliance with the requirements of subsection E of this section.

4. VPDES permittees, facilities, and entities subject to this part (see 9VAC25-31-950 A) that have received a temporary waiver must continue to provide the minimum set of NPDES data (as well as other required information in compliance with statutes, regulations, the VPDES permit, another control mechanism, or an enforcement order) in hard-copy format to the department. The department shall electronically transfer these data to EPA in accordance with 40 CFR Part 127 Subpart C.

5. An approved temporary waiver is not transferrable.

C. Permanent waivers from electronic reporting may be granted by the department for programs for which the department has received authorization to implement the NPDES program, in compliance with this section, to VPDES permittees, facilities, and entities subject to this part (see 9VAC25-31-950 A).

1. Permanent waivers are only available to facilities and entities owned or operated by members of religious communities that choose not to use certain modern technologies (e.g., computers, electricity). The department cannot grant a permanent waiver to a VPDES-regulated entity without first receiving a permanent waiver request from the VPDES-regulated entity.

2. To apply for a permanent waiver, the owner, operator, or duly authorized representative of the VPDES permittee, facility, and entity subject to this part must submit the information listed in subdivision B 2 of this section to the department.

3. An approved permanent waiver is not transferrable.

4. VPDES permittees, facilities, and entities subject to this part (see 9VAC25-31-950 A) that have received a permanent waiver shall continue to provide the minimum set of NPDES data (as well as other required information in compliance with statutes, regulations, the VPDES permit, another control mechanism, or an enforcement order) in hard-copy format to the department. The department shall electronically transfer these data to EPA in accordance with 40 CFR Part 127 Subpart C.

D. Episodic waivers from electronic reporting may be granted by the department for programs for which the department has received authorization to implement the NPDES program, in compliance with this section, to VPDES permittees, facilities, and entities subject to this part (see 9VAC25-31-950 A). The following conditions apply to episodic waivers.

1. No waiver request from the VPDES permittee, facility, or entity is required to obtain an episodic waiver from electronic reporting.

2. Episodic waivers are not transferrable.

3. Episodic waivers cannot last more than 60 days.

4. The department will decide if the episodic waiver provision allows facilities and entities to delay their electronic submissions or to send hard-copy (paper) submissions. Episodic waivers are only available to facilities and entities in the following circumstances:

a. Large scale emergencies involving catastrophic circumstances beyond the control of the facilities, such as forces of nature (e.g., hurricanes, floods, fires, earthquakes) or other national disasters. The department will make the determination if an episodic waiver is warranted in this case and must receive the hard-copy (paper) submissions.

b. Prolonged electronic reporting system outages (i.e., outages longer than 96 hours). The department, will make the determination if an episodic waiver is warranted in this case and must receive the hard-copy (paper) submissions.

E. Responsibilities regarding review of waiver requests from VPDES permittees, facilities, and entities subject to this part (see 9VAC25-31-950 A).

1. Under this section, a VPDES permittee, facility, or entity subject to this part (see 9VAC25-31-950 A) may seek a waiver from electronic reporting. The department shall review the temporary or permanent waiver requests that it receives and either approve or reject these requests within 120 days.

2. The department shall provide the permittee, facility, or entity with notice of the approval or rejection of their temporary or permanent waiver request from electronic reporting.

3. The department shall electronically transfer to EPA the minimum set of NPDES data as specified in Appendix A of 40 CFR Part 127, as adopted by reference in 9VAC25-31-1030, that they receive from permittees, facilities, or entities with a waiver from electronic reporting in accordance with 40 CFR 127.23.

4. Under subsection D of this section, episodic waivers from electronic reporting may be granted by the department to VPDES permittees, facilities, and entities. The department granting an episodic waiver must provide notice, individually or through means of mass communication, regarding when such an episodic waiver is available, the facilities and entities that may use the episodic waiver, the likely duration of the episodic waiver, and any other directions regarding how facilities and entities should provide the minimum set of NPDES data, as well as other required information in compliance with statutes, regulations, the VPDES permit, another control mechanism, or an enforcement order, to the department. No waiver request from the VPDES permittee, facility, or entity is required to obtain an episodic waiver from electronic reporting. The department granting the episodic waiver will determine whether to allow facilities and entities to delay their electronic submissions for a short time (i.e., no more than 40 days) or to send hard-copy (paper) submissions.

Statutory Authority

62.1-44.15 of the Code of Virginia; 402 of the Clean Water Act; 40 CFR Parts 122, 123, 124, 403, and 503.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 33, Issue 22, eff. July 26, 2017.


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