The EPA Proposes Updated Rules for Stormwater Discharges from Construction Activities
Stormwater discharges from construction activities can significantly impact water quality. As stormwater flows over a construction site, it can pick up pollutants like sediment, debris, and chemicals and transport them to nearby storm sewer systems or directly into rivers, lakes, or coastal waters.
The NPDES stormwater program requires permits for discharges from construction activities that disturb one or more acres, and discharges from smaller sites that are part of a larger common plan of development or sale. Construction stormwater permits include effluent limits for erosion and sediment control, pollution prevention, and site stabilization from the Construction and Development Effluent Guidelines and Standards regulations.
Depending on the location of the construction site, either the state (if it has been authorized to implement the NPDES stormwater program) or EPA will administer the permit. In areas where EPA is the permitting authority, operators of regulated construction sites are generally permitted under EPA’s 2012 Construction General Permit (CGP).
EPA is preparing to reissue the Construction General Permit (CGP). The general permit, issued under the Clean Water Act’s National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System, authorizes stormwater discharges from construction activities.
EPA’s current CGP became effective on February 16, 2012, and will expire on February 16, 2017. Once finalized, the draft CGP will replace the 2012 CGP.
The draft permit has a 45-day public comment period which will end on May 26, 2016.
Comments may be submitted at www.regulations.gov under docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OW-2015-0828. A final permit will be issued prior to expiration of the current CGP.