As many of us head off to StormCon in Anaheim this week, EPA has just announced that it is withdrawing the proposed rule that would have revised the numeric effluent limit for runoff from construction sites. The agency withdrew the proposal on August 12, with the intent of collecting more data before reaching a final decision.
What does this mean in the long term for stormwater management on construction sites? It’s unclear, although some groups—the National Association of Home Builders and the Associated General Contractors of America, for example, which have opposed the rule—have argued strenuously against a “one-size-fits-all” limit, and many are no doubt hoping the agency reconsiders the idea of a numeric limit altogether.
EPA’s previous Effluent Limitation Guidelines set a numeric limit of 280 nephelometric turbidity limits (NTU), but in November 2010 EPA stayed that limit, saying it needed to revisit how that limit had been calculated. (A previous proposal by EPA would have set a limit of only 13 NTUs for construction-site discharges.)
A presentation and Q&A session from the EPA this Wednesday at StormCon might shed some light on the situation. For those of you attending the conference, the presentation, titled “Overview of EPA Stormwater Rulemaking Proposal,” will take place Wednesday, August 24, at 2:00 p.m. in Platinum Ballroom 1-2 at the Anaheim Marriott. It is open to all StormCon attendees.