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EPA Seeks Public Comment Regarding New Draft Construction Stormwater General Permit

May 2011

For more than a year, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has become increasingly focused on stormwater discharges from local construction and development projects. As of February 1, 2010, all construction stormwater permits issued by EPA or states for construction sites must contain provisions requiring implementation of best management practices and a range of new erosion, sediment control and pollution prevention measures.

EPA recently announced that it will seek to implement many of the measures that became effective in February 2010 by issuing a new stormwater Construction General Permit (CGP). The new CGP, which will replace the current CGP issued in 2008, will include requirements pertaining to non-numeric effluent limits for erosion and sediment controls, soil stabilization, dewatering, pollution prevention measures, prohibited discharges and surface outlets. EPA’s proposed CGP also includes a placeholder for a turbidity standard for construction site discharges that EPA plans to propose later this year. Other significant new requirements within the proposed CGP pertain to eligibility for emergency-related construction, natural buffers or alternative controls, site inspections and permit termination. Once effective, the new CGP will provide coverage for new and existing construction projects for a period of five years.

EPA anticipates that it will issue the final CGP early next year. As a result, it proposes to extend the June 2011 expiration deadline for the 2008 CGP until January 31, 2012.

EPA will shortly begin accepting comments from the public regarding the proposed CGP and the proposed extension of the 2008 CGP expiration deadline. Once the new CGP is issued it is likely that the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP), which administers the federal permitting process within the State, will seek to revise the requirements contained within state-issued construction stormwater permits to align them with the new federal CGP. Members of the construction and development industry may therefore wish to comment on the proposed federal CGP at this early stage in order to influence any subsequent permitting actions taken by the NJDEP.

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For more information, please contact:
Robert H. Crespi ¦ Member of the Firm ¦ (973) 530-2060 ¦
Daniel T. McKillop ¦ Associate ¦ (973) 530-2066 ¦