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EPA/OEI RIN: 2025-AA07 Publication ID: Spring 2001 
Title: Cross-Media Electronic Reporting (ER) and Recordkeeping Rule 
Abstract: The Cross-Media Electronic Reporting (ER) and Recordkeeping Rule will provide a uniform legal framework for paperless electronic reporting and recordkeeping, including electronic signature/ certification, across EPA's environmental compliance programs. The rule will both remove current legal requirements for paper that create obstacles to electronic reporting and recordkeeping and provide for mechanisms to assure the legal validity and authenticity of electronic documents and associated electronic signatures, whether transmitted as reports or maintained as records. This rule is important because the legal and electronic signature issues remain the chief obstacle to implementation of paperless electronic reporting, and affect the overall enforceability of environmental programs both federally and under state delegation/authorization. Also, the Government Paperwork Elimination Act of 1998 requirements and the Administrator's Reinventing Environmental Information (REI) Action Plan goal of universal ER availability by 2003 can only be met if this rulemaking has active participation by the AA-ships and moves on a fast track. 
Agency: Environmental Protection Agency(EPA)  Priority: Other Significant 
RIN Status: Previously published in the Unified Agenda Agenda Stage of Rulemaking: Proposed Rule Stage 
Major: No  Unfunded Mandates: No 
EO 13771 Designation: uncollected 
CFR Citation: 40 CFR 3 (New)    40 CFR 9 (Revision)   
Legal Authority: PL 104-13    PL 105-277   
Legal Deadline:  None

Statement of Need: EPA is required by the Government Paperwork Elimination Act (GPEA) of 1998 to provide electronic reporting and recordkeeping as an option to its regulated community by 2003. To meet this deadline and comply with GPEA, the legal framework for electronic reporting must be in place by that time. The CROMERR rule is necessary to establish the legal framework to: 1) remove legal obstacles to electronic reporting and record-keeping under most EPA regulations; and 2) assure that these electronic documents will have the same legal and evidentiary force as their paper counterparts. Electronic Reporting is also a capstone of the Administration's Reinventing Government Initiative and the Administrator's Integrated Information Initiative (I3).

Summary of the Legal Basis: 1) Government Paperwork Elimination Act (GPEA) of 1998. GPEA requires federal agencies to provide electronic reporting and recordkeeping to its regulated community by 2003. 2) Electronic Signature National and Global Commerce Act (ESIGN), June 30, 2000. This law eliminates legal barriers to the use of electronic technology to form and sign contracts, collect and store documents, and send and receive notices and disclosures. ESIGN applies broadly to Federal statutes and regulations governing private sector (including business-to-business and business-to-consumer) activities. In general, it does not cover activities that are primarily governmental, which are governed by GPEA. ESIGN begins to take effect on October 1, 2000.

Alternatives: The alternative to an EPA cross-media rule that applies to most compliance reports under 40 CFR, would be individual rulemakings by each of the program offices. EPA's past experience with such rulemakings has demonstrated that such a course of action would not bring EPA in compliance with GPEA by the 2003 deadline.

Timetable:
Action Date FR Cite
NPRM  04/00/2001    
Final Action  02/00/2002    
Additional Information: SAN No. 4270 Formerly listed as RIN 2020-AA41.
Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: No  Government Levels Affected: Federal, Local, State, Tribal 
Federalism: No 
Included in the Regulatory Plan: Yes 
Agency Contact:
Evi Huffer
Environmental Protection Agency
Office of Environmental Information
2823T,
Washington, DC 20460
Phone:202 566-1697
Fax:202 566-1684
Email: Huffer.Evi@epamail.epa.gov

David Schwarz
Environmental Protection Agency
Office of Environmental Information
2136T,
Washington, DC 20460
Phone:202 566-1704
Email: Schwarz.David@epamail.epa.gov