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EPA Agenda Includes Clean Water Act Expansion


The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Nov. 27 regulatory agenda included items related to the Clean Water Act, lead paint programs, post-construction stormwater and stormwater ELG, among other items.

A final conference report on water resources legislation will almost certainly have to wait until early 2014, according to the National Stone, Sand & Gravel Association (NSSGA). Conferees to the Senate-House negotiations are signaling that Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) and Rep. Bill Shuster (R-Pa.) are putting the finishing touches on a conference report, but time is simply running out.  

Both sides were hoping to finish the year with a presidential signature on a major piece of legislation dealing with infrastructure, but kicking off 2014 with such a victory may not be a bad way to get the ball rolling toward a similar deal on surface transportation, NSSGA said.

Clean Water Act
New to the regulatory agenda is a proposed rule that would likely expand the EPA’s jurisdiction under the federal Clean Water Act. Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC), along with the Waters Advocacy Coalition, recently submitted comments on a draft scientific report released by EPA on the connectivity of water, which is intended to guide the proposed rulemaking. The rule is listed on the agenda for December and is currently under review at the Office of Management and Budget.

Lead Paint Renovation, Repair and Painting Program
EPA has moved a rulemaking that would expand its existing Lead Paint Renovation and Repair Painting rule to include public and commercial buildings to long-term action. ABC, as part of the Commercial Properties Coalition, recently aired their concerns with the proposal at a public hearing in June.

Post-Construction Stormwater
EPA continues to list its post-construction stormwater rule under long-term action. In a 2010 settlement agreement, EPA agreed to issue a proposed national stormwater rule for developed and redeveloped sites by June 2013. The agency has yet to issue a proposed rule.

Stormwater ELG
EPA continues to list February 2014 as the date to issue a final rule on the Effluent Limitations Guidelines and Standards for the Construction and Development Point Source Category. In April, EPA issued a proposed rule in response to a settlement agreement which withdrew the numeric discharge limit from the existing 2009 Construction and Development Effluent Limitations Guidelines Rule. According to the settlement agreement, EPA will take final action by Feb. 28, 2014.