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Construction Site Stormwater Subject to New Regulations

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David M. Lick, Andrew C. Vredenburg & Liza C. Moore
Foster Swift Construction Law E-News
December 17, 2009

On December 1, 2009, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency issued a final rule establishing Clean Water Act technology-based Effluent Limitations Guidelines and New Source Performance Standards for the Construction and Development Point Source Category.  This new rule will affect construction activities requiring a contractor or developer to obtain a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit for clearing, excavating, and grading for the construction of buildings, development, and general contracting.  This final rule takes effect February 1, 2010.  Construction site owners and operators disturbing one or more acres will need to use best management practices to ensure that soil disturbed during construction activity does not pollute nearby water bodies.  Owners and operators of larger sites affecting 10 or more acres of land at one time will need to comply with numeric effluent limitations.  The EPA will be "phasing in" the numeric effluent limitation over four years to give both the permitting authorities and the regulated community time to prepare for compliance with the numeric effluent limitation.  Larger sites disturbing 20 or more acres at one time will be required to comply with the numeric effluent limitation beginning 18 months after the rule's effective date.  The EPA estimates that these new regulations will prevent the discharge of about 4 billion pounds of sediment and other pollutants annually by reducing soil and sediment runoff.

See the rule's publication in the Federal Register:
74 Fed. Reg. 62996 (Dec. 1, 2009);
http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2009/pdf/E9-28446.pdf

See the EPA's website for Construction and Development Final Effluent Guidelines:  http://www2.epa.gov/eg/construction-and-development-effluent-guidelines