As part of a settlement agreement reached with a coalition of building groups, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will propose a new rule that withdraws existing stormwater regulations. The new rule will affect the 2009 Effluent Guideline Rule for the Construction and Development Point Source Category, which placed strict numerical limits on the turbidity of stormwater discharges from construction and development sites.
The proposed rule will be published by April 15, 2013; EPA will accept comments prior to issuing a final rule by Feb. 28, 2014.
In the 2009 rule, EPA established the first-ever enforceable numerical limits for turbidity of stormwater discharges from construction and development sites. However, the agency soon came under fire when the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) identified errors in EPA’s calculations. Although EPA stayed the enforcement of the numeric limits in January 2011, a coalition, which included NAHB, the Utility Water Act Group and the Wisconsin Builders Association, continued to press a suit that raised additional objections to the 2009 rule.
NMHC/NAA has had a long-time involvement in stormwater issues. NMHC/NAA filed comments in the run up to the original 2009 rulemaking, advocating for a site-specific approach to managing discharges from these sites and also questioning the agency’s engineering and economic analyses.
EPA has also agreed to propose to amend several of the non-numeric/best management practices requirements.
Additional information on EPA's regulation of runoff from construction and development sites, including a copy of the settlement agreement is available here.
NMHC/NAA continue to represent the interests of the industry on water quality issues, including stormwater runoff, before the regulatory agencies and Congress.