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North Carolina

"Although labelled as 'DRAFT' by the State, this is the document submitted to EPA in response to the solicitation."

EPA State Innovation Pilot Grant Application

Project Summary Information (1 page)

Application Information

Project Title
Basin Wide Information Management System (BIMS) Electronic Upload Release

Project Location
Raleigh, NC

Name of Applicant State Agency
Department of Environment and Natural Resources - Division of Water Quality

Name of Project Contact: Coleen Sullins

Address of Project Contact
Division of Water Quality
1617 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27399-1617

Indicate if the Project is being executed in cooperation with or funded by another Federal program; if so, identify the program: The overall BIMS project is being carried out in cooperation with the Environmental Protection Agency and has received supplemental funding through Section 106 and 104(b)(3) of the Clean Water Act.

Indicate what types of regulatory flexibility (from the Federal government) potentially may be needed to implement the project:

Indicate by affirmation that the Secretary of the State Agency supports the project: This project is supported by DENR ITS, its management structure and Mr. Bill Ross Secretary of DENR

Summary Budget Information

Dollar amount requested from EPA: [REDACTED BY EPA]
Dollar amount of voluntary leverage funding offered by the state: [REDACTED BY EPA]
Dollar amount of total project budget: [REDACTED BY EPA]

Pre-Proposal Project Narrative (4 pages)
The Division of Water Quality's new Basinwide Information Management System (BIMS) is being developed so that the system not only captures a very ambitious scope of agency information, but also allows the State to make this information widely available for use via the Internet. As can be imagined, the success of BIMS is very important to the Division and to the State and a significant amount of resources have been dedicated to this project. Phases of the project to track water body information (stream classification data), NPDES permit issuance, NPDES Discharge Monitoring Report (DMR) data submittals and compliance, and state Non-discharge monitoring submittals have already been developed and are in use today. BIMS components to track Enforcement cases and Inspections (both NPDES and non discharge related) are underway.

Specifically, we hope to develop an Internet access interface to allow our regulated facilities to submit required DMR data electronically and to enhance the states interface with EPA's Permit Compliance System. DMR submission would be the first phase to allow all monitoring reports to be submitted electronically, including the state non-discharge monthly reports.

This interface would allow the Division of Water Quality to increase the volume of data analyzed, and reduce the processing time by at least one month. This time saving can be achieved by allowing permittees to submit their data electronically rather than mail paper documents to the Division for data entry. The electronic submission will reduce citizen's burden by eliminating paper documents, and the time saving will allow timelier decisions and earlier detection of any violation.

Vision for impact of the project
We expect this initiative to be well received with our regulated community, since many of them already are requesting this capability.

This capability would make a much larger amount of data available to interested parties and program managers. Currently due to resource constraints, NC DWQ only captures "summary" data on many of its smaller regulated facilities. It would allow for many additional instream water quality data points to be available electronically. Currently we have approximately 1000 NPDES permittees who perform upstream and downstream monitoring but due to resource constraints that information is not captured electronically for use. Second, the electronic submittal of data would make data available much sooner than when it is obtained by conventional means.

Providing the ability to electronically capture this information does more than just improve processing times. It provides the agency and the public with a broader range of critical environmental compliance data and expands the capability of the whole Department to promote this type of data submission for many other regulatory agencies. Including this capacity saves staff resources and allows the agency to focus more attention on responding to issues and violations instead of just trying to get the data into the system. Computer assisted analysis tools will be greatly enhanced by the quick and expanded availability of this information.

As this function is extended to allow electronic data entry for non discharge monitoring reports, this will allow the automatic identification of many violations that are undetected today, due to lack of resources.

Goals and objective of the project
The Division's goal is to execute the first phase with a limited set of regulated facilities and then extend the capability to all other facilities.

This capability should not be limited to NPDES WW, but extended to any program in BIMS that handles standard reports (including DMRs for NPDES SW permits, NDMR, NDAR, etc.). It is the agency's goal to require electronic submission of all compliance data within five years. Such an effort not only requires the technical capability to do this, it also must include all of the support regulatory work and legal provisions to include electronic submission in the permit documents and within the "culture" of the agency.

How do we measure the expected results?

Project Schedule and Timeframe

NC seeks funding from this grant source to move this portion of the BIMS project forward now. With appropriate funding, it should be possible to develop an initial electronic submittal system with appropriate legal authorities built in by the end of calendar 2003. A "pilot" group of facilities should be able to submit DMRs by September 2003. Full implementation of a system should be available to all facilities by December 2003 and agency actions to make electronic submittal mandatory (with specific regulatory changes) should start in mid-2003 with adoption of the rules to follow NC's APA process.

Major milestones, outcomes, products

- Note: high level schedule. Needs details to back it up -

Start Date - March 2003

End of Prototyping Phase - July 2003

Begin Pilot Phase (with selected facilities) - September 2003

Completion Date - December 2003

Extend to all NPDES Facilities - January 2004

Extend to all Non Discharge Facilities - January 2004

Meeting Program Criteria Requirements

Target Priority Environmental Area Improving Water Quality
Multimedia - The BIMS system was developed with improving Water Quality management in mind. The management of surface waters requires an effective data evaluation system to keep compliance with state and federal permits at the agency's fingertips. Connected to these efforts is the overlap between programs which has brought opportunities. We are currently investigating the opportunity to bring Groundwater permitting activities (including compliance, inspections and enforcement actions) into BIMS to benefit from an integrated system and avoid re-building a redundant infrastructure.

Collaboration with other governmental agencies

Use of Incentive as a tool
Demonstrate Lessons Learned

How will the state use this to demonstrate success

Transferring Innovation
How do we replicate to other states

How does this promote organization change?

Guaranteeing measures and accountability

What are achievable short term results

Long Term result?

Proposal Budget (1 page)

Funding Range - show different sources for funding


Note: This does not include hardware and software.

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