WEF Prepares for Proposed Stormwater Rule and Potential Impacts by Congressional Riders

The Water Environment Federation (WEF; Alexandria, Va.) met with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Stormwater Team in July to discuss the status of the proposed stormwater rule. WEF understands that the proposed rule is expected to include proposed performance standards for post-construction discharges from new and redevelopment projects, revisions to municipal separate storm sewer system boundaries and extensions of the permitting program to currently unregulated dischargers, retrofit programs for targeted urban areas, a transportation-specific permit program, and inclusion of  combined sewers systems in stormwater regulations. Click here to see a memo providing more information on the current understanding of the rule as well as related activities in which WEF plans to engage.

EPA is finalizing the rule before sending to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) this month for review. OMB is expected to complete its review in September, and EPA plans to release the proposed rule on schedule by the end of September. However, riders in the fiscal year 2012 Department of the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act (H.R. 2584) could delay the process. Riders include a provision that would require the EPA to submit cost-benefit analyses to the Appropriations and Authorizing committees before the stormwater rule can be proposed. There is a mandatory stay on rulemaking during the 90-day review period required by Congress, which would result in a significant delay in the release of the proposed rule if H.R. 2584 is passed as currently drafted.

WEF is forming a workgroup to draft and review the extensive comments expected on this major rule. WEF members interested in joining this workgroup should contact Seth Brown at sbrown@wef.org.

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