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Requirements For Submittal of Electronic Documents

Document Submittals:

Effective October 3, 2005, documents submitted to the DER must include an electronic version that conforms with the following guidelines.


On July 2, 2003, the Division of Environmental Remediation (DER) began an initiative to centrally manage all important program documents in electronic format. The electronic documents system (eDocs) is designed to house site-related documents for all of the Division's programs including the State Superfund Program (SSF), the Voluntary Cleanup Program (VCP), the Brownfields Cleanup Program (BCP), the Environmental Restoration Program (ERP), the Spills Program, and the Bulk Storage Program on a DER central office file server. Non-site related Division documents are also managed in eDocs. This system is intended to build a document history of DER's environmental and regulatory relationship with thousands of sites and facilities across New York State and will supplement the various program database information systems that the Division maintains. The eDocs system will assist DER staff in quickly locating documents, providing keyword text searching of the entire library, streamline FOIL requests, and eliminate duplicated filing of "master" copies between the regional offices and central office.

Where appropriate, eDocs will standardize text-based documents on the Adobe Acrobat Portable Document Format (PDF). PDF offers full text search capabilities, and functions well in a web environment. Non-text based documents (such as digital images and CAD drawings) will be accepted in their native formats as noted later in this standard.

The system is available to all DER staff, and is maintained on a DEC file server.

Document format:

All documents will be converted to PDF by the document originator before inclusion into the eDocs system. The only exceptions will be for file types which cannot be converted, such as image files, video clips, audio files and CAD files, which are not otherwise part of an existing document.

DER staff must ensure that consultants and other outside parties submit documents in PDF electronic format in addition to the hard copy. Documents/reports with separate supporting documentation must be combined into one electronic document, since supporting files may become orphaned when added to the eDocs system. While it will remain the responsibility of the DER staff to name and file the documents, parties should follow the naming convention when submitting the documents.

Document Naming Convention:

It is imperative to have a consistent and informative naming convention so that individual documents are readily identifiable, and families of documents are easily grouped and extracted for use on the web.

All documents are to be named according to the following convention, and with these additional rules:

1) No spaces are allowed anywhere in the file name. The underscore(_) is acceptable in place of spaces. Not all software interprets spaces consistently.

2) Only alpha-numeric characters, hyphens, underscores and dots (.) are acceptable in file names. Other special characters must be avoided, as they may cause unforseen errors. Other special characters, especially single quotes ('), are not allowed. Files will be accessed by computers running different operating systems.

3) All required elements for the naming convention must be present for each and every document.

The convention is as follows:

[document type].[program code [ou]].[document date][.description].[file extension]

Note: all fields are required except those italicized

Explanation of naming convention:

  • document type: includes ROD, PRAP, Consent Order, Application, Spill Prevention Report, Memo, Letter, Fact sheet, Report, Image, Video. (See document type table)
  • program code[ou]: Consists of the program type prefix (hw, sp, b, v, pbs, cbs, mosf), followed by the program ID (Bulks Storage ID, Spill No., Haz Waste Site ID, etc.). Remove dashes from ALL program IDs. Lastly, the Operable Unit [ou] is an optional two-digit suffix to the Program ID. Do not include a separator between Program ID and Operable Unit. Please see the Example names of documents section below.
  • document date (yyyy-mm[-dd]): This is the date of the official release of the document (RODs, PRAPs, Fact sheets, etc.), or the date the file was created (letter, memo, image, etc.). A 4-digit year and 2-digit month is required, 2-digit day [-dd] is optional. Hyphens are required so dates can be distinguished from program codes.
  • description: Optional. An additional word or two of document information. Site name could be addedhere. Avoid wordiness! Remember - no spaces in the file name.
  • file extensions:
    .PDF (Adobe Acrobat format for all type-written documents),
    .GIF (for image files/pictures files)
    .MPEG (for movie or video files)
    .MP3 (audio files)
    .DXF (AutoCAD files)
    (Other file extensions must be approved prior to use)

Example names of documents:

Keep in mind that no spaces are allowed in the file name.

Note: Remove dashes from ALL Program IDs. Dashes are necessary in the dates to distinguish from Program ID.

  • memo.cbs1000001.2002-03.pdf
  • rod.hw15200905.2001-07-24.pdf
  • letter.pbs2000442.2001-06-12.description.pdf
  • image.mosf91020.2002-12-01.rinker_oil.jpg
  • consent.sp0206944.2002-11-15.pdf

Guidance for PDF Submittals

The eDocs system works most efficiently when the originator of the document creates the PDF file. This will generally result in the best version possible and save time by not having to scan the document. Below are the requirements for achieving the type of PDF that is needed:

  • All final documents and reports need to be submitted in electronic format on compact computer discs (CDs). Email submittal is acceptable if the document size is less than 25 MB. In general, reports should be delivered on a standard CD which is CD-R type and "closed" so that no changes can be made to the file on the disk. The disk should contain a single Adobe® Acrobat® Portable Document Format (PDF) file per report. The document should be contained in one file, that is all appendices, volumes, plans, drawings, etc., should be together. Exceptions must be preapproved.
  • The document must be searchable. If the PDF was created using Word or WordPerfect - it will likely be in a searchable state. If the document was scanned, "paper capture" or optical character recognition (OCR) will need to be run on it. If OCR is used, make sure that the original scanned image is retained with the file.
  • The PDF document should be as small as possible while maintaining adequate resolution. For most documents 200-400 dpi scanning resolution is appropriate.
  • Draft reports may be delivered in any electronic form as requested by individual project managers.
Document Type Table
Documents Type Naming Convention Example of File Name
Agreements (VCP, BF) agreement. agreement.v000015.2003-09-03.xyzCorp.pdf
Applications (VCP, BF) application. application.v000015.2003-09-03.xyzCorp.pdf
Briefs brief. brief.v000015.2003-09-03.pdf
Consent Orders consent. consent.hw000015.2003-09-03.xyzCorp.pdf
Contract contract. contract.hw000015.2003-09-03.ChangeOrder.pdf
Email email. email.v000015.2003-09-03.pdf
Fact Sheets factsheet. factsheet.hw000015.2003-09-03.pdf
Images/Photographs image. image.hw150076.2003-09-03.TankRemoval.jpg
ISRs isr. isr.sp9800087.2003-09-03.DrumRemove.pdf
Letters/Correspondence letter. letter.v000015.2003-09-03.SiWpApproval.pdf
Memos memo. memo.v000015.2003-09-03.nyc_project_coordination.pdf
NOVs nov. nov.v000015.2003-09-03.xyzCorp.pdf
PRAPS prap. prap.v000015.2003-09-03.xyzCorp.pdf
Publication publication. publication.hw152100.2003-09-03.newdays_article.pdf
Reports report. report.v000015.2003-09-03.FinalAKRF.pdf
RODS rod. rod.v00001501.2003-09-03.xyzCorp.pdf
Site plans siteplan. siteplan.v000015.2003-09-03.xyzCorp.pdf
SPR/SPCC plans spr. Or spcc. spcc.mosf200001.2003-09-03.mobil.pdf
STIPs stip. stip.sp9900786.2003-09-03-ConEd.pdf
Variances var. var.cbs100005.2003-09-03.pdf
Video Clips video. video.hw150076.2003-09-03.TankRemoval.mpg
Work Plans workplan. workplan.hw150076.2003-09-03.TankRemoval.pdf