In a welcome development following builders’ successful challenge of an onerous stormwater regulation, the EPA has proposed that construction companies implement best management practices (BMPs) to control stormwater runoff as a means of erosion control on construction sites. Once finalized, the proposed rule would remove the federal requirement that builders monitor turbidity in stormwater runoff and withdraw numeric turbidity limits imposed in 2009. The proposed rule also provides clarity for permit writers concerning how EPA expects certain best management practices to be implemented on site.

Among changes that EPA is proposing to the rule’s non-numeric requirements is 1) the inclusion of a definition for the term “infeasible,” which was needed because many of the non-numeric requirement BMPs must be implemented “unless infeasible; ” and 2) a clarification of the BMP requirements. A third change to the rule is a permanent removal of the numeric limit. For details, view this Factsheet on Proposed Changes to the ELG.

These favorable revisions to the EPA’s effluent limitation guidelines (ELGs) stem from the EPA’s recent settlement of a longstanding lawsuit brought by NAHB, the Wisconsin BA and the Utility Act Group. One of our association’s most significant-ever wins for its members, this victory is projected to save home builders and developers about $2,000 per home in compliance costs, for an annual total of nearly $1.2 billion – assuming the final ELGs are similar to the terms of our settlement agreement upon their scheduled release at the end of February, 2014.