EPA backs down to NAHB over ELGs lawsuit

Bob Nielsen NAHB Chairman credit nbnnewsNAHB reports they applauded the Environmental Protection Agency’s decision to reconsider the imposition of a nationwide cap on how much sediment can be part of the stormwater draining from a construction site. The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) said the Effluent Limitation Guidelines (ELGs) reversal by the EPA was a nod to sound science and a victory for home buyers. The agency’s announcement comes more than 18 months after NAHB sued EPA over its first proposal to develop a numeric limit for the turbidity, or cloudiness, of stormwater discharges, which the EPA later voluntarily withdrew recognizing that it was not legally defensible.  In addition, NAHB estimated that attempting to comply with the regulations would carry a $10 billion annual price tag – stunting new home production and forcing costs up for home buyers. The agency announced it still couldn’t justify any specific limit and will start over again. EPA will talk to home builders, environmental scientists and other members of the public to gather better data – a solution that NAHB has advocated for more than three years. “EPA set a numeric limit for water cloudiness that was based on flawed analyses,” said NAHB Chairman Bob Nielsen, a builder in Reno, Nev. Both the Small Business Administration and the federal Office of Management and Budget had warned EPA that the regulation would not hold up, joining NAHB in voicing concerns about the monitoring and sampling requirements.”Stormwater management must be straightforward, affordable and workable,” Nielsen said. “That’s the only way we can continue to make progress. NAHB supports responsible development and the goals of the Clean Water Act. The association will continue to work with state and federal regulators to keep our waterways clean,” Nielsen said.

(File photo credit Bob Nielen: NBNNews)

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