Construction contractors are in a quandary as a result of a recent action by a federal appellate court. The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has refused to grant an Environmental Protection Agency request to vacate the numeric limit in effluent limitation guidelines (ELG) for construction stormwater, which took effect in December 2009.
In August, EPA asked the court to vacate the numeric limit and remand parts of the regulation back to the agency so it could develop a new limit. In its brief, EPA said the data it had used to arrive at a limit of 280 nephelometric turbidity units (NTU) were “flawed” and that it “had improperly interpreted the data.” On Sept. 20, the court denied EPA’s request but also said the agency could proceed with revising parts of the rule. EPA has until February 2012 to develop new guidelines.