Environmental Rules to Watch in 2016

In the last full year of the Obama Administration, AGC expects the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) to take action on the several environmental rules/permits affecting the construction industry.  Below is a list of the rules to watch and a handout with more details.

  • Incorporation of the 2015 Electronic Reporting Requirements into Federal and State Stormwater Permits
  • Reissuance of the Federal Stormwater “Construction General Permit”  (Even where this permit is not directly applicable, it still serves as a national model.)
  • Revisions to the Stormwater Runoff Permit Program for Small Municipalities (Changes to this federal program could force cities to further restrict runoff from construction projects and developed sites.  The proposed revisions are expected in Dec. 2015.)
  • Implementation (or Not) of the New “Waters of the United States” Rule (This rule is currently on hold nationwide; however, the agencies continue to work on program tools and improvements.)
  • Reissuance of Nationwide Permits (NWPs) and Possible Issuance of New NWPs to Authorize Activities Not Currently Covered
  • New AGC-Supported Rule to Authorize Distance or Online Learning for Required Lead-based Paint Renovator Recertification Training
  • Distribution of an Optional, Detailed Contractor Survey on Lead Hazards in Commercial Buildings (This survey was delayed in 2015.  If EPA determines construction activities in commercial buildings create a lead dust hazard, it could spur new requirements.)
  • Implementation of the New Air Quality Standards for Ozone (70ppb)  (States with areas not meeting the tighter ozone limit may face a constricted construction market, threatened highway funding and restrictions on the use/operation of equipment.)
  • Revisions to the Exceptional Events Rule That Could Ultimately Help States Struggling to Meet New Ozone Standard (This rule would exclude certain air-quality monitoring data from events such as wildfires.)

Download AGC’s Environmental Rules to Watch in 2016 handout for easy reference with short summaries on each of these rules and links to longer articles.

For more information, please contact Leah Pilconis at or Melinda Tomaino at

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