Stormwater Editor's Blog
Tuesday, January 10, 2012 1:38 PM
Numeric Discharge Limits for Construction
Last week, on January 3, EPA published a notice in the Federal Register asking for additional data and feedback on several issues related to the numeric effluent limits for construction sites. As you may remember, the agency published effluent limitation guidelines in late 2009 calling for a limit of 280 nephelometric turbidity units (NTUs) from most construction sites 10 acres or larger. The guidelines also called for other erosion and sediment control measures, such as using perimeter controls and minimizing the amount of land disturbed at one time, but for many in the industry the numeric limit was the key part of the rule, and many felt that 280 NTUs was still an unreachably low—and prohibitively expensive—number.
After the guidelines were issued, the Small Business Administration and the National Association of Home Builders petitioned for EPA to reconsider the numeric limit, based on a potential error in the way that number had been calculated. EPA reexamined the data and, in January 2011, stayed the limit, saying it had miscalculated the data and that a revised limit would be published at a later date.
Last week’s notice, available here, requests more information on topics such as sample collection, ability of smaller sites to meet numeric limits, and cold-weather considerations. It also provides more information about how the 280-NTU limit was originally calculated, based largely on data from eight different construction sites in three states, and why it is now being reconsidered. It contains summaries of the technologies needed to meet a specific numeric limit, defines what the agency means by “passive treatment,” includes a discussion of the limitations of sampling equipment and practices, and addresses comments EPA received regarding the potential toxicity of chemicals used in treatment systems to reduce turbidity. If you want a current summary of the issues surrounding the effluent limitation guidelines—even if you don’t have information to add and aren’t planning to comment—the notice is worth reading.
EPA’s website contains links to additional background information. You can submit comments on the numeric turbidity limit by mail or online at www.regulations.gov until March 5.
Upcoming Forester University Webinars
January 12th, 2012
Planning & Executing an Effective Pavement Preservation Program
As roadway networks and commercial vehicle loading continue to increase and Municipality taxation power remains limited, the need to effectively maintain and improve our pavement infrastructure is paramount. Join David Hein, V.P. of Transportation for ARA, to explore the key concepts of an effective pavement preservation program, program implementation needs and guidelines, and common roadblocks to successful implementation. Read more…
January 26th, 2012
5 Steps to Creating a Successful Public Outreach Campaign
Change starts with people. Whether your focus is stormwater pollution, energy conservation, pavement restoration, or recycling, a successful public outreach campaign resonates with your target audience and leads to long-lasting behavior change. Join Erica Hooper of SGA to explore a proven 5-step approach to crafting a successful outreach campaign based on real-world examples of the good, the bad, and the ugly. Read more…