EPA Backpedals on Stormwater Rule
The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has recently agreed to withdraw its proposal to impose numeric limits on the amount of sediment in stormwater that runs off a construction site. In December 2009, EPA issued Effluent Limitation Guidelines (ELGs) for the construction and development industry, which established the minimum technology required to control the environmental impact of stormwater runoff. EPA established both numeric limits on sediment in runoff from construction sites as well as best management practices (BMPs), such as silt fences, for certain construction sites. The National Association of Homebuilders (NAHB) and others challenged the rule, and on December 21, 2012 EPA agreed to withdraw the numeric limits and to pursue additional improvements to the rule. In addition to withdrawing the numeric limits, EPA has agreed to clarify the non-numeric portion of the rule so that land developers, permit writers and inspectors better understand what measures are required to help protect the nation’s waterways.
This common sense development will help protect the environment while saving the construction industry billions of dollars a year.