United States
      Environmental Protection

                      Office of Information Collection:

   Frequently Asked Questions - State, Tribe, and Local Government


Ql. What is CROMERR?
Al. CROMERR stands for the Cross-Media Electronic Reporting Regulation. It
provides the legal framework for electronic reporting under Title 40 of the Code of
Federal Regulations to EPA and state, tribe, and local governments (hereafter referred to
simply as "authorized programs") that are authorized to administer federal programs.
The regulation authorizes and facilitates electronic reporting for environmental programs
while maintaining the level of corporate and individual responsibility and accountability
that exists for paper submissions.

Q2. Does CROMERR require electronic reporting?
A2. No. CROMERR does not mandate that authorized programs institute electronic
reporting or accept  documents electronically.  It also does not require that regulated
entities use electronic reporting for reporting directly to EPA. However, CROMERR
does not prohibit authorized programs from requiring electronic reporting if they
otherwise possess the authority to mandate electronic reporting.

Q3. Does CROMERR apply to all reporting that uses electronic media or related
A3. No. CROMERR does not affect the submission of any electronic document via
magnetic or optical media (e.g., diskette, compact disk, or tape) or via fax.

Q4. What regulatory programs are affected by CROMERR?
A4. CROMERR affects all regulatory programs that EPA implements under Title 40 of
the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), and all state, tribe and local government
programs authorized by EPA under Title 40 of the CFR.

Q5. How does CROMERR affect authorized programs?
A5. CROMERR affects authorized programs in a number of ways.
   • It requires authorized programs to seek EPA approval of program  modifications or
     revisions if they implement or wish to implement electronic reporting under their
     authorized programs.
   • CROMERR sets requirements for electronic reporting under authorized programs,
     including standards for the systems that authorized programs use to receive
     electronic reports.
   • It establishes  a special, streamlined approval process for revisions or modifications
     to authorized  programs related to electronic reporting.

Q6.  Does CROMERR affect all data transfers from authorized programs to EPA?
A6.  No. CROMERR does not apply to data transfers between EPA and authorized
programs as a part of their authorized programs or as a part of administrative
arrangements between authorized programs and EPA to share data.

Q7.  Does the rule cover electronic record-keeping?
A7.  No, with the exception of the requirement to maintain a "copy of record" for those
reports filed electronically. Although the proposed rule included provisions for electronic
record-keeping, EPA is not issuing final record-keeping rules at this time.

Q8.  What else does.CROMERR not do?
A8.  CROMERR doe's not:
   •  Change any substantive regulatory requirements that appear in Title 40 of the
       Code of Federal Regulations.
   •  Change any substantive regulatory requirements under authorized state programs.
   •  Confer any right or privilege to submit data electronically.
   •  Require any state program to accept electronic documents.
   .   Require signatures on electronic documents if Title 40 does not require signatures
       on the corresponding paper documents.


Ql.  What are the CROMERR requirements for electronic reporting systems?
Al.  Authorized programs seeking to meet the requirements should consult the actual
language of section VIE of the Preamble and §3.2000(b) of the rule for more detail. The
subject-areas addressed by the requirements include:
•  Timeliness of data generation.
•  Copy of record.
•  Integrity of the electronic document.
•  Submission knowingly.
•  Opportunity to review and repudiate copy of record.
•  Validity of the electronic signature.
•  Binding signature to the document.
•  Opportunity to review.
•  Understanding the act of signing.
•  Electronic signature or subscriber agreement.
•  Acknowledgement of receipt.
•  Determining the identity of the individual uniquely entitled to use a signature device.

Q2.  How is an application for an electronic reporting system submitted to EPA for
A2.  Authorized programs can submit an application for program modification or revision
using the special 40 CFR Part 3 approval process or by using applicable program
approval or revision processes under other Parts  of Title 40.

Q3. What is the approval process created by CROMERR?
A3. The CROMERR approval process allows authorized programs to submit a
consolidated application to seek approval of multiple program revisions or modifications
related to electronic reporting.  CROMERR provides a single, straightforward EPA
review process for consolidated applications, with deadlines for EPA action written into
the rule.

Q4. How will EPA assess authorized program electronic reporting systems as part
of the CROMERR approval process?
A4. Approval will be based on conformance with the CROMERR performance-based
requirements for electronic reporting systems, provided in §3.2000(b) of the rule.  These
requirements reflect the need to assure the authenticity and integrity of electronic
documents so that they will meet the Agency's legal and business needs to the same
extent as their paper counterparts.

Q5. In consolidated  applications with multiple program revisions or modifications,
does CROMERR require that EPA take the same action on each program in the
consolidated application?
A5. No.  For example, EPA can approve some of the program revisions or modifications
in the consolidated application, and disapprove others.

Q6. When do new authorized program electronic reporting systems need to have
EPA approval?
A6. For new electronic reporting systems, authorized programs must obtain EPA
approval of the associated program modifications or revisions before electronic reports
can be  received.

Q7. When do existing authorized program electronic reporting systems need to
have EPA approval?
A7. Authorized programs must submit applications for program revisions or
modifications related to existing electronic reporting systems no later than October 13,
2008. This deadline can be extended on a case-by-case basis and at the request of the
authorized program, where legislative or regulatory changes are necessary before a
complete application can be submitted.

Q8. What happens if an application is not submitted by the October 13, 2008
deadline for an existing authorized program electronic reporting system?
A8. Authorized programs that fail to meet the CROMERR deadline and continue to
operate their existing electronic reporting systems without EPA approval may jeopardize
the enforceability of affected programs..

Q9. Can the application deadline for an existing authorized program electronic
reporting system be extended?
A9. CROMERR does allow the EPA Administrator to extend the October 13, 2008,
deadline on a case-by-case basis, if a authorized program can demonstrate that it needs

additional time to make legislative or regulatory changes required for CROMERR

Q10.  When do authorized program electronic reporting systems that are under
development need EPA approval?
A10.  Authorized programs must submit applications for program revisions or
modifications related to electronic reporting systems that are "substantially developed"
no later than October 13, 2008 (see §3.1000(a)(3) of the regulation).  In the context of
CROMERR, "substantially developed" means that system services or specifications are
already established by existing contracts or other binding agreements. This would
include cases where a state agency has already made legally binding  agreements to
procure the services and/or components that will constitute the system.  Systems under
development, but not "substantially developed," need EPA approval before they are used
to receive electronic reports. (See §3.3. of the regulation for definition  ofexisting
electronic document receiving system)

Qll.  Once approved electronic reporting systems are operational,  what happens if
the system needs to be changed?
Al 1.  Once authorized programs begin operating approved electronic reporting systems,
they must notify EPA of system changes that have the potential to affect compliance with
CROMERR.  If there are substantial changes to approved systems, EPA may ask—based
on a determination by the Administrator—that the authorized program submit a new
application for EPA approval.  (See §3.1000(a)(4) of the regulation.)


Ql. What do CROMERR applications need to contain?
Al. Look to the Regulation for specific requirements (see §3.1000).  However,
applications generally must contain:
1.   A signed certification that state, tribe, or local laws and/or regulations provide
    sufficient legal authority to implement electronic reporting and to enforce the affected
    authorized programs using electronic documents collected under those programs -
    together with copies of the relevant laws and/or regulations.
2.   A listing of the electronic document receiving systems that do or  will receive
    electronic submissions addressed by the program revisions or modifications being
    requested, together with a description of each system that specifies in detail how it
    will satisfy the requirements of CROMERR. The application should indicate, for
    each system, which electronic submissions the system will be used to receive, and, for
    each such submission, whether the submission involves electronic signatures.
3.   For each system, a schedule of upgrades that may affect future CROMERR
    compliance - to the extent that such upgrades can be anticipated.
4.   Other information necessary to demonstrate compliance with CROMERR.

Q2. How should electronic reporting systems be described in the CROMERR
A2. For each electronic reporting system, the application should explain the approach,
both system functions and business processes, to addressing the applicable CROMERR

requirements as detailed in section VIE of the Preamble and §3.2000(b) of the rule.
(Note that many of these requirements may not apply to electronic document receiving
systems that do not receive submissions with electronic signatures.) The description
should provide detailed information for EPA to be able to understand what functions the
system will perform to address the requirement and the technologies that will be used to
achieve this functionality.

Q3. Who needs to sign the certification of legal authority to implement electronic
reporting under CROMERR?
A3. For states, the certification must be signed by the Attorney General or his or her
designee. For tribes and local governments, the certification must be signed by the chief
administrative official or officer or his or her designee.  (See §3.1000(b)(l)(i) of the


Ql. How does EPA review CROMERR applications?
Al. Within 75 days of receipt of the application, EPA typically notifies an applicant
whether an  application is complete. EPA then determines whether to approve or
disapprove the revisions or modifications addressed by the application.  In most cases,
the agency has 180 days from notification of completeness to act on the application,
unless the authorized program requests the deadline be extended; in certain circumstances
the deadline is 360 days.  If EPA does not meet the applicable deadline, then the revisions
or modifications in the application are automatically approved (see §3.1000(c)(4) of the

Q2. Who reviews the CROMERR applications?
A2. EPA convened the CROMERR Technical Review Committee (TRC) to review
applications submitted under CROMERR for authorized programs. The TRC reflects  an
Agency-wide perspective, with representatives from each of the EPA Regions and
Program Offices.  The TRC reviews applications from authorized programs that are
submitted under the new CROMERR Part 3 process, which sets relatively tight deadlines
for EPA action. The TRC also can be called upon to work with Program and Regional
Offices that review CROMERR-required applications submitted under other Title 40
processes for program revision or modification.

Q3. Is the  review any different in cases of existing systems?
A3. The review is the same, but in certain cases the timing of that review may vary.
Under CROMERR, authorized programs with existing systems have until October 13,
2008 to submit their applications.  For applications for existing systems that are received
after July 30, 2007, EPA has up to 360 days (rather than 180 days) to act on any
modification or revision requested in the application.

Q4. Can applications be amended once they have been deemed complete by EPA?
A4. Yes. An authorized program may amend its application after EPA has determined
the application package to be complete. However, the application will be considered to

have been withdrawn and resubmitted as a new package, and a new 75-day completeness
determination process will begin. (See §3.1000(e) of the regulation.)

Q5.  Can the review period be extended?
A5.  The 180-day or 360-day review period may be extended, but only at the request of
the authorized program submitting the application (see §3.1000(c)(4) of the regulation).

Q6.  When does the approval become effective?
A6.  The approval becomes effective as soon as EPA publishes a notice of the approval in
the Federal Register.

Q7.  What happens if EPA determines that an application is incomplete?
A7.  For applications that EPA deems incomplete, the agency will provide notice to the
applicant along with information about the application's deficiencies. Authorized
programs can then either withdraw their application and re-submit a new  application, or
they may submit and amended application. EPA has 75 calendar days to  respond to the
resubmitted new application with a completeness determination and 30 calendar days to
respond to an amended  application with a completeness determination.

Q8.  What happens if EPA denies  a requested modification or revision covered by
an application?
A8.  If EPA denies a requested modification or revision, the Agency will  explain the
reasons  for the action and advise the applicant of the steps that can be taken to remedy
the application's deficiencies.  EPA will work with the applicant to  identify the issues
that have posed an obstacle to approval.  Authorized programs may then re-submit
applications for reconsideration.

Q9.  Are there special  provisions for public water system programs?
A9.  Yes.  Where authorized programs apply for approval of an electronic reporting
system for a public water system program (under 40 CFR Part 142), the application
approach is the same as for any other system except that EPA's approval  or denial of the
request is considered  a "preliminary determination" and is followed by a public hearing
process. Following this approach, EPA publishes a notice of the preliminary
determination in  the Federal Register and informs members of the public that they can
request a public hearing. If no public hearing is requested (or determined necessary by
EPA), then the preliminary determination becomes effective 30 days after the initial
Federal Register publication. If there is a hearing, EPA reviews the hearing record, and,
by order, either affirms  or rescinds the preliminary determination; EPA then publishes  a
notice of its decision in the Federal Register. If the order is to approve the revision or
modification, the approval will be effective upon publication of the  order in the Federal

                                                                    October 2007