The Environmental Protection Agency has asked a federal appeals court to give the agency 18 months to address what it termed a “flaw” in a 2009 stormwater regulation. The rule sets a limit on sediment discharges from construction sites.
In April 2010, the Small Business Administration asked EPA to reconsider parts of that regulation. According to EPA, the SBA cited “potential deficiencies” with data used to arrive at the sediment limit. The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) also challenged the sediment limits. NAHB says the cost of complying with the standard would have risen up to $10 billion a year, which was much higher than EPA’s $953 million annual estimate.
In a motion filed on Aug. 13, EPA asked the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to vacate parts of the 2009 rule and delay the court proceedings until Feb. 15, 2012, while the agency takes another look at the regulation. EPA said it “improperly interpreted the data” underlying the sediment limit.
EPA’s rule, issued on Dec. 1, 2009, sets a limit of 280 “turbidity units” on discharges into stormwater from construction sites of at least 10 acres of land. NAHB expects EPA will issue interim guidance for such discharges.