Extension for Stormwater Permits on Smaller Building Sites

EPA is proposing the extension because its NPDES stormwater program needs more time to meet a deadline to incorporate new construction and development effluent limitations guidelines into a new permit.

Nine EPA regions requested comments yesterday on a proposal to give operators of construction sites an extra year, until midnight June 30, 2011, until the expiration of their National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) general permits for stormwater discharges associated with construction activity, if their sites disturb at least one acre but less than five acres. This includes sites that are part of a larger common plan of development or sale that will ultimately disturb at least one acre but less than five acres.

Leaders of Regions 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, and 10 signed the notice of the proposal published in yesterday's Federal Register. Comments are due by Nov. 10, submitted via www.regulations.gov (enter Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OW-2008-0238). Greg Schaner of the Water Permits Division in EPA's Office of Wastewater Management (phone 202-564-0721, schaner.greg@epa.gov) is the contact for further information.

If a discharger chooses to apply to for coverage under the 2008 general permit that is proposed for extension, the permit sets requirements for preventing contamination of stormwater discharges from construction activities.

EPA began regulating stormwater discharges "associated with industrial activity" and requiring permits under the NPDES program with a regulation published in November 1990. At that time, "industrial activity" was defined to include construction activities that disturb at least five acres of land and have point source discharges to waters of the U.S. A second phase of the regulatory program, published in December 1999, required NPDES permits for discharges from construction sites of the size addressed in this proposal. NPDES permits issued for construction stormwater discharges are required by Section 402(a)(1) of the Clean Water Act.

Construction operators choosing to be covered by the 2008 permit rule must certify in their notice of intent that they meet the eligibility requirements in Part 1.3 of the permit.

The notice says EPA is proposing the extension because its NPDES stormwater program needs more time to meet a deadline to incorporate new construction and development effluent limitations guidelines into a new permit.

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