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EPA Issues Rule to Reduce Water Pollution from Construction Sites

Michael Kreisle

Contributing Member
November 23, 2009

EPA Issues Rule to Reduce Water Pollution from Construction Sites

WASHINGTON - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today issued a
final rule to help reduce water pollution from construction sites. The
agency believes this rule, which takes effect in February 2010 and will
be phased in over four years, will significantly improve the quality of
water nationwide.

Construction activities like clearing, excavating and grading
significantly disturb soil and sediment. If that soil is not managed
properly it can easily be washed off of the construction site during
storms and pollute nearby water bodies.

The final rule requires construction site owners and operators that
disturb one or more acres to use best management practices to ensure
that soil disturbed during construction activity does not pollute nearby
water bodies.

In addition, owners and operators of sites that impact 10 or more acres
of land at one time will be required to monitor discharges and ensure
they comply with specific limits on discharges to minimize the impact on
nearby water bodies. This is the first time that EPA has imposed
national monitoring requirements and enforceable numeric limitations on
construction site stormwater discharges.

Soil and sediment runoff is one of the leading causes of water quality
problems nationwide. Soil runoff from construction has also reduced the
depth of small streams, lakes and reservoirs, leading to the need for

More information: http://www.epa.gov/waterscience/guide/construction