EPA Withdraws Numeric Turbidity Limit for Construction Runoff

On Aug. 12, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) withdrew a proposed rule that would have enacted the first federal numeric turbidity limit for runoff from construction sites. In 2010, EPA dropped the limit of 280 nephlometric turbidity units (NTUs) from the construction and development industry’s effluent guidelines, published in the December 2009 Federal Register. That limit was set to become effective this August.

EPA began conducting a separate rulemaking effort to devise a new numeric limit, which would have affected both the EPA’s Construction General Permit and reissued state permits. However, last month, EPA withdrew the rule from review by the White House Office of Management and Budget. The agency’s goal is to gather more data on treatment performance from construction and development sites. As such, they will publish a solicitation for data in an upcoming Federal Register. See the Aug. 19 issue of This Week in Washington for more information.

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