New Stormwater Rules in Effect for Construction Projects

On February 1, 2010, the EPA effluent limitations guidelines and new source performance standards went into effect. These regulations were established in December 2009 “to control the discharge of pollutants from construction sites.” According to the U.S. EPA website, the following are some of the discharges prohibited:

  • Wastewater from washout of concrete, from washout and clean out of stucco, paint, from release oils, curing compounds and other construction materials
  • Fuels, oils, or other pollutants used in vehicle and equipment operation and maintenance
  • Soaps or solvents used in vehicle and equipment washing.

In addition, the EPA website states that various requirements become effective on different dates as follows:

  • February 1, 2010 – all construction sites requiring permit coverage must implement a range of erosion and sediment controls and pollution prevention measures.
  • August 1, 2011 – any site disturbing 20 or more acres of land at a time must comply with the turbidity limitation (280 nephelometric turbidity units) of the regulation.
  • February 2, 2014 – the turbidity limitation becomes effective for any construction site disturbing 10 or more acres of land at a time.

These regulations present challenges to construction companies with regards to the additional inherent risk for potential claims. It is imperative that we educate our construction clients as to the impact that these regulations may have on the sites on which they work and the coverages that may be necessary to protect them against potential future claims.

Read more about the regulation on the U.S. EPA website.

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