Comments sought by Federal EPA
Proposals affect stormwater discharge permits and toxic release reporting

Stormwater Permit Deadline

EPA proposes to extend until June 12, 2006, the regulatory deadline that would require stormwater permit coverage for oil and gas construction activities that disturb between one and five acres of land. The agency needs additional time to consider comments raised by stakeholders and to consider the economic, legal and procedural implications related to controlling stormwater discharges from these sites.

The public may provide comments on the proposed extension for 30 days upon publication in the Federal Register. A copy of the proposed extension and information about EPA’s stormwater program is available at: www.epa.gov/npdes/stormwater

During the next 15 months, EPA intends to: complete an economic impact analysis; evaluate several regulatory options for addressing these stormwater discharges; and evaluate practices and methods used to control stormwater discharges from these sites. EPA intends to hold at least one public meeting with stakeholders to exchange information on current industry practices and their effectiveness in protecting water quality.

This proposed extension also outlines EPA’s intent to develop and propose a regulation that would address stormwater discharges from these oil and gas construction sites. This proposal, to be made by September 12, 2005, will be made available to the public for review and comment.

Toxic Release Reporting

The federal government plans to simplify reporting requirements for nearly 23,000 facilities nationwide that must submit annual reports for the EPA´s Toxics Release Inventory.

If enacted, the new rules would no longer require facilities to report certain locational information, such as latitude and longitude. The proposal also includes several minor reporting changes related to waste management activities.

The proposed changes would not impact human health or environmental quality, according to the EPA and the public would continue to have access to detailed information about chemical releases and waste management in their community.

The agency has set a March 11 deadline for submitting comments.


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