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EPA Promulgates Standards and Effluent Guidelines for Discharges from Construction and Development Sites

January 2010

This Environmental Law Alert is provided as part of Wolff & Samson PC’s continuing effort to apprise its clients of quickly developing issues within the construction and development field, and follows our November 2009 Alert regarding the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s current and planned enforcement of provisions found in the New Jersey statewide Construction Activity Stormwater General Permit.

On December 1, 2009, EPA published new source performance standards and a numeric effluent limitation for turbidity in order to control the discharge of pollutants from construction sites.

Beginning on February 1, 2010, all construction permits issued by EPA or states must incorporate provisions requiring that best management practices and a range of new erosion, sediment control and pollution prevention measures be implemented at construction sites. These measures include those designed to sample and control discharges from such activities as dewatering and concrete washout. In addition to these non-numeric requirements, after August 1, 2011, construction sites disturbing 20 or more acres will also be required to meet a turbidity standard (280 NTU, or nephelometric turbidity units). Sites disturbing 10 or more acres will be required to comply with this turbidity standard beginning on February 1, 2014.

EPA has stated that these new guidelines and standards are intended to work in concert with existing state and local programs. Thus, it is likely that the statewide General Permit for Site Construction issued by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection will be revised to include the new requirements. These new requirements come quickly after EPA’s statement that it plans to vigorously enforce the statewide General Permit requirement to implement site-specific Construction Site Waste Control Plans at project sites. Construction site owners and operators should remain attuned to this new federal focus on local construction and development.

For more information, please contact:

Dennis M. Toft(973) 530-2014 /

Robert H. Crespi(973) 530-2060 /

Daniel T. McKillop: (973) 530-2066 /