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Advocacy News Release

EPA to Reconsider Final Rule on Stormwater Discharges for Construction Sites

Release Date: 
Sunday, November 7, 2010
Release Number: 
10-10 ADV
Contact: 
Patrick Morris (202) 205-6941, patrick.morris@sba.gov

Advocacy plays role in highlighting small business concerns

WASHINGTON, D.C. –Today the Office of Advocacy applauded the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) decision to reexamine its final rule for stormwater discharges for construction sites. The Office of Advocacy had estimated that the regulation had the potential of costing business $10 billion annually, with minimal environmental improvement and would adversely affect housing affordability for millions of Americans. Small firms make up 97.7 percent of the construction and development industry.

“EPA’s decision to review its rule should be viewed as a step towards finding the appropriate regulation that protects our environment and doesn’t overburden small business,” said Susan M. Walthall, Acting Chief Counsel for Advocacy. “A regulation that is based on accurate data, with the opportunity for public input, will benefit us all.”

On April 20 of this year the Office of Advocacy issued a letter petitioning EPA to reconsider the final rule for stormwater discharges for construction sites. The petition identified errors in EPA’s data review and analysis that contributed to a stringent numeric standard of 280 nephelometric turbidity units (NTU). The petition also stated that providing the opportunity for public comment on the data and methodology would have improved the rule.

A significant concern that Advocacy included in its April 20th petition was that EPA misinterpreted vendor data from a construction site in Seattle, Washington, as representing 15, instead of 3, pretreatment systems. This correction alone would drive the limit to approximately 500 NTU.

For more information and a complete copy of the letter, visit the Office of Advocacy website at www.sba.gov/advo.

The Office of Advocacy of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is an independent voice for small business within the federal government. The presidentially appointed Chief Counsel for Advocacy advances the views, concerns, and interests of small business before Congress, the White House, federal agencies, federal courts, and state policymakers. For more information, visit www.sba.gov/advo, or call (202) 205-6533.

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U.S. Small Business Administration