EPA Formally Withdraws Numeric Turbidity Standards from Its Stormwater Rule for Construction and Development Sites

Daily Environment Report announced yesterday that EPA notified BNA that, late last year, EPA reached a settlement with the Utility Water Act Group and the National Association of Home Builders resolving litigation over EPA’s rule imposing effluent limitations on the “Construction and Development Point Source Category” and over its Construction General Permit.

The most contentious aspect of EPA’s regulatory efforts in this area was EPA’s inclusion of numeric turbidity limits.  The regulated community had severely criticized the data on which EPA relied in imposing the standard.  EPA, to its credit, had acknowledged the data flaws and stayed the numeric standard.

In the settlement, EPA formally agreed to propose, by April 15, 2013, revisions to the C&D rule that would formally withdraw the numeric standard.  (For those who pay attention to such matters, EPA has also agreed to pay UWAG’s and NAHB’s legal fees in connection with the litigation.)

To some extent, the settlement simply represents EPA’s acknowledgement of reality, but it will still be helpful to the construction/development industry to have the certainty associated with a formal revision to the rule.

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