Environmental Observer

EPA Seeks Small Business Input on Plans to Regulate Post-Construction Stormwater Runoff

July 29, 2010

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is writing a national rule to reduce stormwater discharges from developed sites.  EPA has asked AGC to identify small construction company representatives who can advise a panel of government lawmakers on how to minimize the potential burden of the proposed regulation on small businesses.   If you are interested in serving in this capacity, please email pilconisl@agc.org by August 4.  

EPA plans to propose and take final action by Nov. 2012 on first-time nationwide design and performance standards to control stormwater discharges from new development and redevelopment (i.e., post-construction stormwater controls) and to make other regulatory improvements to strengthen its stormwater program.  Pursuant to such rules, "owners" looking to develop on a site would hire a general contractor to "build" the site, including any permanent stormwater controls, to the owner's specifications and within the agreed upon budget.  Such new federal requirements will certainly increase the cost of construction and will likely present liability issues concerning the contractor's legal/contractual obligations to the site and the owner after he leaves the site. 

As required by the Regulatory Flexibility Act, EPA is establishing a Small Business Advocacy Review (SBAR) Panel, consisting of EPA, the Office of Management and Budget, and the Small Business Administration's Office of Advocacy because the new stormwater rule could have a significant economic impact on small entities.  The purpose of the Panel is to solicit advice and recommendations from representatives of small construction firms that may be affected by the forthcoming stormwater rule.

To qualify as a "Small Entity Representative" (SER) your company's annual receipts (averaged over three years) must not exceed $33.5 million.  Generally, selected SERs would be asked to review background information, listen to informational briefings, and provide oral and written comments to the Panel on how EPA can minimize the potential burden of the proposed regulation on small-business contractors.  Information about what constitutes a "small business" is available on the Small Business Administration's website.  You may also wish to review EPA's fact sheet, What Potential Small Entities Should Know About the Small Business Advocacy Review Panel Process.

AGC members who are interested in serving as a SER should email pilconisl@agc.org by August 4, 2010.  Please provide your name, the name and size of your company, and your contact information in the message.  Depending on the volume of responses, EPA may not be able to invite all qualified candidates to participate as Small Entity Representatives.

Information Collection Request (ICR) for Proposed Rulemaking

As a result of AGC's advocacy work, EPA has decided to not require contractors to respond to a lengthy, mandatory survey that will guide and inform future requirements pertaining to long-term stormwater control practices, recognizing that contractors are not responsible for designing, financing, operating or maintaining post-construction (permanent) stormwater controls. Click here to learn more. 

More information about the Panel: http://www.epa.gov/sbrefa/stormwater.htm
More information about the rulemaking: http://www.epa.gov/npdes/stormwater/rulemaking