Originally published as a Schiff Hardin Environmental Update newsletter

On April 25, 2011, USEPA published for public comment a new draft NPDES construction general permit applicable to stormwater discharges from large and small construction sites. The proposed permit incorporates the new effluent limitations guidelines and new source performance standards for the construction and development point source category promulgated by USEPA on December 1, 2009 (“C&D rule”). The C&D rule requires site operators to install and implement stormwater measures to prevent erosion and control sediment runoff, pollution prevention, site stabilization, and, for certain larger construction sites, to meet a recalculated numeric turbidity limit and conduct compliance monitoring of stormwater discharges. For sites that discharge to waters where additional controls are necessary to ensure compliance with applicable water quality standards, the draft permit includes new water quality-based effluent limits. Please see our December 3, 2009 Environmental Update for a more detailed summary of the 2009 rule. The proposed draft permit can be viewed here. Comments must be submitted by June 24, 2011.

The numeric effluent limitation for turbidity applicable to certain sites has been contested and stayed. USEPA states it plans to propose a new turbidity limit and revised compliance dates soon. USEPA has included a placeholder in the proposed draft permit for the new effluent limit with the expectation that the new limit will become effective prior to issuance of the final construction general permit.

Also on April 25, 2011, USEPA proposed to extend the expiration date for the existing general construction permit, set to expire June 30, 2011, until January 31, 2012 to allow USEPA enough time to finalize the proposed permit.