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USEPA and USACE Propose Rule to Clarify Clean Water Act

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USEPA Updates Final Rule for Construction and Development Effluent Guidelines and Standards

USEPAThe U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) has amended and released its updated final rule on the Construction and Development Effluent Guidelines and Standards. The last update occurred in 2009. The 2014 version provides flexibility for permitting authorities to implement some of the rule requirements. It also clarifies the requirement for permittees to provide and maintain buffers around many surface waters at construction sites in order to reduce downstream siltation and flooding.

The USEPA expects that compliance with this regulation will improve the quality of the nation's water due to significant reductions in the discharge of sediment and other pollutants.

The original rule required owners and operators of permitted construction activities to adopt the following requirements:

  • Implement erosion and sediment controls.
  • Stabilize soils.
  • Manage dewatering activities.
  • Implement pollution prevention measures.
  • Provide and maintain buffers around surface waters.
  • Prohibit certain discharges.
  • Utilize surface outlets for discharges from basins and impoundments.

The 2014 version of the rule adds a definition of "infeasible" because several of the rule requirements allow exceptions in cases where a particular practice is infeasible. The definition is meant to clarify for the regulated community and to permitting authorities when it is appropriate to apply these exceptions. There are also several changes to the non-numeric requirements of the rule in order to provide clarity and allow additional flexibilities for permittees.

2014 updates:

  • Clarifies the applicability of requirements to control erosion caused by discharges.
  • Provides additional details on areas where buffers are required and clarifies requirements for soil stabilization.
  • Includes preservation of topsoil and pollution prevention measures.
  • Omits the previous version's numeric turbidity effluent limitation and monitoring requirements.

To access more information about the 2014 final rule on the Construction and Development Effluent Guidelines and Standards, click here.





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