Storm Water Exemptions for Oil and Gas Exploration Should Also Apply to Construction
NAHB has filed comments urging the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to give construction sites a Phase II permit exemption similar to the one it is likely to offer oil and gas exploration sites.
In September, EPA will propose a rulemaking to determine whether small oil and gas exploration sites of one to five acres should be permanently exempted from Phase II permitting rules and regulated in alternative ways. EPA will weigh the economic impacts of the regulations against the risks that oil and gas exploration activities pose to water quality.
In the meantime, the agency has extended the Phase II rule deadline for oil and gas exploration sites for another six months.
When a similar cost-benefit analysis is applied to residential construction sites, “the burden of compliance is very high, especially on small businesses, while the risk to the environment is very low,” NAHB said in its comments. Home buyers shoulder the burden, too, since costs associated with the regulations can raise the price of housing by thousands of dollars per home. For every $1,000 increase in price, 400,000 people are priced out of the housing market.