The EPA has formally proposed revisions to its effluent guidelines for stormwater discharges from construction and development point sources. The proposed rule would make several revisions to the non-numeric requirements of the existing rule, as well as withdraw the numeric discharge standards.
These changes reflect the terms of a settlement agreement between EPA and the Wisconsin Builders Association, the National Association of Home Builders and the Utility Water Act Group resolving the 7th Circuit lawsuit, Wisconsin Builders Association v. EPA, No. 09-4413 (7th Cir. 2012). The groups challenged the EPA’s 2009 Effluent Limitations Guidelines for the Construction and Development Industry (2009 C&D Rule) arguing that the rule was unworkable could cost stakeholders up to $10 billion a year in compliance costs.
Pursuant to the Wisconsin Builders Association settlement, the proposed rule entirely eliminates numeric turbidity limits. The proposed rule additionally gives permittees more flexibility in adopting stormwater controls by specifically defining “infeasible” to allow consideration of industry practice as well as cost. EPA is currently accepting comments on these and other changes in the proposed rule. Comments are due by May 31, 3013.