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The Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) has published final regulations establishing guidelines limiting the out flowing of water from construction sites. These rules modify the National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES”) permit requirements. The new rule imposes non-numeric standards that apply to all construction sites disturbing one acre or more. The new rule also includes numeric limits to turbidity that will apply to construction disturbing 20 acres or more starting August 2, 2011 and construction disturbing 10 acres or more no later than February 2, 2014.

The total pollutant reductions under the new scheme are expected to be four billion pounds per year. This should significantly impact water quality because urban storm water is the primary source of water quality impairment. But, contractors and others who are responsible for meeting these guidelines will be impacted.