White House Heeds NAHB Call for Thorough Review of EPA Stormwater Proposal

StormwaterGood news for builders who want increased scrutiny of the changes being made to the Environmental Protection Agency’s existing 2012 Construction General Permit (CGP):

EPA officials recently confirmed they will submit the agency’s 2017 CGP to the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review this fall. OMB’s review will examine the potential impact of EPA’s proposal and provide NAHB with the opportunity to discuss the cost to small businesses of implementing the changes.

Once approved, the 2017 CGP will remain in effect for five years.

A major worry: The draft CGP requires home builders to make their individual stormwater pollution prevention plans (SWPPPs) publicly available. Posting these large, complex documents online poses many concerns, from privacy issues to whether government sites could effectively handle and screen such massive amounts of new data.

EPA also requested input on requiring “joint” SWPPPs for operators in the same common plan of development, as well as stricter inspection and stabilization timelines (reduced from 14 to seven days).

EPA now requires builders to pull a permit for discharges from any construction activity disturbing more than one acre, or if they are building on less than one acre in a larger subdivision.

In addition to serving as model language for most state programs, the CGP applies in states where EPA is the direct permitting authority: New Mexico, Idaho, New Hampshire and Massachusetts.

Read NAHB’s detailed comments on EPA’s proposal.

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