EPA to Study Effectiveness of Its Storm Water Management
NAHB plans to help the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as it embarks on a three-year study on the effectiveness of the nation’s storm water management program.
EPA wants to see how discharges from commercial and industrial sites affect water quality and whether its storm water permitting policies are making a difference. Data from the agency suggest that many industrial facilities are reporting that they routinely exceed benchmark values established in the multi-sector general permit (MSGP), which is used by industries other than home building.
However, EPA has not yet been able to determine whether this excessive discharging is an indication of potential water quality problems or inadequacies in its storm water pollution prevention plan.
The study is part of EPA’s preparation for the 2011 MSGP.
NAHB members will not be directly affected by the results of the study because residential construction requires its own storm water discharge permit, but the participation of the association in the study has many benefits, according to Kim Wagoner, an environmental policy analyst at NAHB.
“First of all, EPA is willing to look at the effectiveness of its storm water programs and whether its enforcement mechanisms, including the permit itself, have a positive impact on water quality,” Wagoner said. “The results of this study will have an influence on EPA’s residential construction permitting policies as well, particularly if EPA decides to broaden the study to assess establishing national benchmarks for the construction industry. It is very important for NAHB to play a role.”
Slated to begin this fall, the study will examine a number of key points, including how pollutants in storm water affect water quality, how useful it is to monitor storm water discharges and the effectiveness of the technical and administrative design of the current storm water permitting program under the Clean Water Act.
The results will include recommendations for EPA and for agencies in the 45 states that have their own programs.
For additional information, e-mail Kim Wagoner at NAHB, or call her at 800-368-5242 x8662.
'Storm Water Permitting: A Guide for Builders and Developers' Available at BuilderBooks.com
“Storm Water Permitting: A Guide for Builders and Developers,” available through BuilderBooks.com, provides a starting point for builders and developers to use in locating and understanding storm water permitting requirements.
The publication has been prepared to help builders comply with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's storm water requirements, and includes information on state permitting programs and more than 50 of the most commonly used Best Management Practices. Also included are tips on compliance, including how to handle visits from inspectors.
To view or purchase this guide online, click here, or call 800-223-2665.