The effect of electronic reporting of discharge monitoring reports on Clean Water Act compliance in ohio
Siedschlag, Gregory B.
Thesis (M.P.P.)--Georgetown University, 2011.; Includes bibliographical references.; Text (Electronic thesis) in PDF format. Point source dischargers regulated under the Clean Water Act's National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System are required to submit a discharge monitoring report (DMR) on a periodic basis, usually every month. Many of these reports are still submitted on paper forms. However, over the last decade many states have begun implementing electronic systems for submitting DMRs, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is currently writing a rule that would require more electronic reporting of DMRs. While efficiency gains resulting from electronic reporting have been documented, whether or not these systems have any effect on compliance rates is an open question. To provide a better sense of the relationship between electronic reporting of DMRs and Clean Water Act compliance, this study analyzes data from Ohio for fiscal years (FY) 1996 through 2009. Ohio instituted electronic reporting software in FY 2000 and switched to a web-based system in FY 2008. Logit models were employed that include time trends and fixed effects for permittees. Results indicate a significant negative effect on compliance from the first system and a significant positive effect from the second. This paper's findings suggest that electronic reporting may not only help regulatory agencies more accurately identify compliance violations, but it may also provide more complete and accurate data to the U.S. EPA and the public.
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