Contractor Input Needed; Association Preparing to Comment on EPA’s Draft Permit by May 26 Deadline
As previously reported by AGC, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is accepting public comment on its draft 2017 National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Construction General Permit (CGP) until May 26. AGC has taken numerous actions over the last several weeks to inform the EPA staff of AGC’s main concerns with the agency’s proposed draft, but more input from the construction industry would be helpful to shape the final rule. The paramount concern is the possible addition of a brand-new requirement that would make construction site “operators” publicly report (via an Internet post) their construction stormwater pollution prevention plans (SWPPPs). Please use AGC’s draft discussion document to share your concerns with EPA by the May 26 comment deadline. Although EPA’s CGP directly applies in only a handful of states and territories, it serves as a national model for state-issued CGPs.
AGC is very concerned by EPA’s attempt to “add on” electronic SWPPP reporting – in the midst of an already insufficient 45-day comment period on the draft 2017 CGP. As AGC has explained to EPA, the published SWPPP data would be “stale” as soon as it hits the Web, which would confuse the general public, subject the construction sector to unfair scrutiny, and lead to unsubstantiated citizen complaints (or, even worse, frivolous lawsuits). All of this will, in turn, force needless government inspections and thwart construction work, including critical infrastructure improvements that are necessary to environmental gains – wasting government’s limited resources and taxpayer dollars. AGC is building a strong case against online SWPPPs – and is working closely with the homebuilders and other real estate and development groups.
AGC’s request for an extension of the CGP comment period was denied. AGC and others continue to stress that it will be difficult for industry stakeholders to carefully examine and reach consensus on viable alternatives to many contentious CGP revisions under consideration, including how SWPPPs for thousands of construction sites across the United States are collected by the government and then shared with – and used by – the public at large.
For more information, please contact AGC’s Leah Pilconis at firstname.lastname@example.org.