U.S. EPA Releases Proposed Rule on Construction Effluent Limitation Guidelines

On April 1, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released proposed changes to its 2012 effluent limitation guidelines for the construction and development point source category. The proposed rule would withdraw numeric turbidity limits created in 2009 and instead rely on best management practices for controlling erosion and sedimentation during the construction phase. The proposed rule is based on a December 2012 legal agreement between EPA and the Wisconsin Builders Association, the National Association of Home Builders, and the Utility Water Act Group. Comments on the proposed rule are due by May 31.

The Water Environment Federation (WEF) submitted comments on the rule in July 2011, questioning the use of a single numeric target for effluent discharge from construction sites. WEF cited the variable nature of site conditions such as soil type, slopes, vegetative coverage, and local climate.  WEF is considering submitting comments on the current proposed change.

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