Appeal of onerous stormwater permit continues

As reported in the previous AGC Works, AGC and other industry groups have filed an appeal of DOE’s new Construction Stormwater General Permit, which became effective Jan. 1.  

AGC’s Environment Committee (Carter Rohrbough, Granite Construction, Chair) and Government Affairs Committee (Gene Colin, Ferguson Construction, Chair) have reviewed the permit and worked with other industry partners, particularly WACA, to develop a specific slate of concerns to aid the appeal process.

Among AGC’s concerns (references refer to section of new permit available here):

Clearing, grading and/or excavation that results in the disturbance of one or more acres (including off-site disturbance acreage authorized in S1.C.2) and discharges stormwater to surface waters of the State; and clearing, grading and/or excavation on sites smaller than one acre that are part of a larger common plan of development or sale, if the common plan of development or sale will ultimately disturb one acre or more and discharge stormwater to surface waters of the State.
Comments: Unnecessary oversight of offsite work areas

Uncontaminated water used to control dust. Permittees must minimize the amount of dust control water used.
Comments: Could be construed to mean potable water is contaminated due to fluoride, etc.

Applicants must notify Ecology if they are aware of contaminated soils and/or groundwater associated with the construction activity. Provide detailed information with the NOI (as known and readily available) on the nature and extent of the contamination (concentrations, locations, and depth), as well as pollution prevention and/or treatment BMPs proposed to control the discharge of soil and/or groundwater contaminants in stormwater.
Comments: Permit defines contaminated as anything above natural background levels.

If construction activity results in the disturbance of 1 acre or more, and involves significant concrete work (significant concrete work means greater than 1000 cubic yards poured concrete used over the life of a project ) or the use of recycled concrete or engineered soils.
Comments: Any amount of recycle concrete is now subject to sampling requirements, it was previously 1,000 CY.

Adjust the pH of stormwater or authorized non-stormwater if necessary to prevent an exceedance of groundwater and/or surface water quality standards.
Comments: The addition of “groundwater” makes this very unclear as to what the intent is.

The termination is effective on the thirty-first calendar day following the date Ecology receives a complete NOT form, unless Ecology notifies the Permittee that the termination request is denied because the Permittee has not met the eligibility requirements in Special Condition S10.A.
Comments:  Increased monitoring timeframe.

For more information, contact AGC Chief Lobbyist Jerry VanderWood, 360.352.5000.