The EPA are to be congratulated on their latest initiative regarding AERs.  The trialling of a spreadsheet template to capture the information to be reported in an AER is a move that will cut costs for the EPA.  Perhaps of more important to industry is that it will cut the costs of producing AERs.  Environmental Efficiency would certainly be happy to pass on the savings to its clients.

For some licensees the annual report is seen as a public relations exercise with plenty of graphics and lots of text.  However, these AERs, often running to 100 pages or more often contain no more detail than an AER of 20 pages.  The new initiative will standardise the way AERs are presented and will save both the EPA and other interested parties much time in reviewing them.

However, it is puzzling why the spreadsheet has to be submitted as a PDF.  If the AER was returned as a spreadsheet, the data could be automatically analysed and collated and  abnormalities identified for further investigation.