EPA proposes new stormwater discharge regulations for construction sites

Would apply to sites of one or more acres.

May 16, 2016 |
EPA proposes new stormwater discharge regulations for construction sites

Photo: Dawn Easterday/Creative Commons.

The Environmental Protection Agency’s has proposed new National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) general permit requirements regulating stormwater discharges from construction activities

The proposal applies to construction sites of one or more acres, or less than one acre, but part of a larger development. The proposal would:

  • Prohibit hazardous substances, such as paint or caulk containing polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) from authorized non-stormwater discharges of external building washdown waters.
  • Require permittees to include the EPA’s contact information in public notices that are already required to be posted in a prominent location near construction sites.
  • Require permittees to cover or use another method of temporary stabilization for inactive soil stockpiles and land clearing debris piles where the piles will be unused for 14 or more days.
  • Require permittees to keep waste container lids closed (or provide some other secure cover where containers do not have lids).
  • For demolition of structures with at least 10,000 sf of floor space built or renovated before 1980, require permittees to implement controls to minimize the exposure of PCB-containing building materials to precipitation and stormwater.
  • Require permittees to state on their Notice of Intent (NOI) form the type of construction activities that will be involved.

These potential permit changes could significantly increase the time, effort, and resources required to comply with stormwater management obligations, according to an article by the law firm Dykema, Gossett PLLC.

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