Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) lambasted EPA for fast-tracking the promulgation of a controversial water regulation that Congress decided to halt.
The rule seeks to revamped the Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) water regulations, which require states to identify bodies of water in which the level of pollutants in the water exceeds state requirements.
ABC, representing 22,000 shop construction and construction related firms, expressed concerns that the rule would "significantly increase the costs of development and redevelopment in affected areas and would inequitably transfer authority from the states to EPA.
"Congress rightfully recognized that the TDML rule would have enormous ramifications on all segments of the economy and sought to delay its release to allow time for further review," said ABC President W. Thomas Musser. "EPA''s release of the TDML rule July 11, in the waning days of the Clinton Administration, is a blatant back-door attempt to circumvent the will of Congress."
Once TDMLSs are established, states are required to restrict the sources of pollutants in affected watersheds.
As a result, construction companies, regulated as point sources of pollution through NPDES permits because of construction runoff, would be heavily impacted by the TMDL program, said ABC.
"The new rule will create expensive, cumbersome enforcement mechanisms that would seek to address water quality issues to the exclusion of all other programs," said Musser. "Moreover, the rule essentially imposes an unfunded mandate on the states and will have disproportionate impact on construction and development activities in arbitrarily chosen areas."
ABC is researching avenues to challenge the implementation of the new TMDL program.
by Virginia Sutcliffe