EPA Proposes Stormwater Rule Minus Numeric Turbidity Limits

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.

Class on stormwater permit and building code changes: FREE for builders members

The Storm Water Codes for Greenville County have been updated, as a courtesy and included in the price of your Builder Membership the HBA of Greenville will be hosting a class to highlight and educate you on these codes. The class will be held at Progress Lighting on April 11th beginning at 8 a.m with continental breakfast served and the meeting will conclude at 11:30 a.m.

Thank you GBS Building Supply for sponsoring the class and helping make the class free to Home Builders.

Speakers for this event include:

  • Jessica Chapman- PE, CFM Assistant City Engineer – Environmental
  • John McLeod- Chief Building Codes Officil
  • Steve Landrith- Chief Building Official for the City of Greenville
  • Judy Wortkoetter- PE, Greenville County Engineer.

For associate members of the HBA of Greenville the cost to participate in this class is $20 and $35 for non members.  To register for this class please contact Crystal Yanes at 864-254-0133 or cyanes@hbaofgreenville.com.

On another note the HBA of Greenville and the State HBA has been committed to adoption of the 2012 International Residential Code (IRC) in order to maintain affordable housing for all South Carolina residents by keeping required residential sprinklers out of the adopted code.  We are expecting this code to become effective in July.

DHEC Stormwater Permit issued effective January 1, 2013

The S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control issued the new NPDES Permit for Stormwater Discharges from Construction Activities on October 15.  The new permit will be effective January 1, 2013.

There are changes to the new permit compared to the existing permit, although the changes were relatively minor.  As a result of the actions of NAHB, the Environmental Protection Agency dropped its plan to impose numeric limits on effluent.  Because the new permit is valid through 2017, any requirement to measure and limit effluent on construction sites will not be required in South Carolina before January 1, 2018.

To help HBA members understand the new permit, DHEC will hold three informational seminars:

  • Upstate: Monday, November 19, Chapman Cultural Center, 200 East St. John Street, Spartanburg (9 a.m. until 12 noon)
  • Midlands: Wednesday, November 28, Peeples Auditorium, DHEC Headquarters, 2600 Bull Street, Columbia (1 p.m. until 4 p.m.)
  • Coastal: Friday, November 30, Horry County Government Center, 1301 2nd Avenue, Conway (1 p.m. until 4 p.m.)

Design engineers, CEPSCI inspectors, and others involved in land development are encouraged to attend one of these free sessions.