The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) plans to
release its proposed update to the existing stormwater rule by June 2013. This
rule is tied to a settlement agreement with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation on
pollution in the Chesapeake Bay. The proposed rule may impact all Phase I,
Phase II, and non-regulated Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems (MS4).
Currently, medium and large local governments with
populations over 100,000 hold MS4 permits, as do small MS4s in urbanized areas.
Under the most recent proposal, performance standards for discharges from new
development and redeveloped sites will be established.
For new and redevelopment sites, which include residential,
commercial, industrial, and institutional, the EPA is considering a retention-based
standard that takes into account regional conditions. According to the EPA, the
standard could be applied strictly to development sites nationwide (outside of
existing MS4s) or only those sites that discharge to an MS4. If the EPA goes
with the first option, the permit requirements rest with the developer during
construction. After construction, the property would be required to maintain
the standards as laid out under the permit.
Construction enforcement rests with the permit authority,
which is generally the EPA or the state. However, since some states have
transferred oversight authority to local governments, this may mean additional
responsibilities for local authorities.
Additionally, the EPA is considering other options: extend
the oversight of the current MS4 program; require large regulated local
governments to manage discharges from existing sites, and designated
government-owned maintenance yards as industrial sources.
To view the most recent EPA power point presentation on the
yet-to-be-released stormwater proposal, click here.
Julie Ufner ·