WASHINGTON, D.C. — In an Oct. 19, 2009, Federal Register notice, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that it is seeking public comment on its proposal to extend the 2008 NPDES general permits for stormwater discharges associated with construction activity, the 2008 Construction General Permit (CGP), by one year. The 2008 CGP applies only where EPA is the permitting authority, which is in five states; Washington, D.C.; most U.S. territories; many federal facilities; and most Indian country lands.

The 2008 CGP regulates the discharge of stormwater from construction sites that disturb one acre or more of land and from smaller sites that are part of a larger, common plan of development. The permit requires construction site operators to comply with stormwater discharge requirements that prevent sediment loss, soil erosion, and the discharge of other pollutants at active construction sites. The public will have 30 days to comment on the EPA’s proposed one-year extension, after which the agency will then consider and address the comments received and issue a final Federal Register notice on this issue by the end of November 2009.

The extension of the 2008 CGP permit is needed to allow the agency sufficient time to develop a new CGP that incorporates its soon-to-be-finalized Effluent Limitation Guideline for the Construction and Development Industry. This guideline will represent a significant advancement in the control of sediment discharges from construction sites, imposing national requirements on construction activities that disturb one or more acres of land. This Guideline must be completed by the EPA, under court order, by December 2009.