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The EPA Sends 280 NTU Rules Back to the Drawing Board 

ELGs Again?After reading the National Association of  Home Builders (NAHB's) brief, the the US Justice Department asked the Environmental Protction Agency (USEPA) to defend the 280 NTU numeric limit. USEPA was forced to admit several flaws in the final rule and that it had improperly interpreted the data. As a result, the Justice Department filed a motion with the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals asking it to vacate the numeric limit and place a hold on the litigation until February 2012-while EPA goes back and develops a numeric limit that builders can actually comply with.
Published in December 2009, the Effluent Limitation Guideline (ELG) imposed a nationally applicable limit of 280 "turbidity units" on storm water discharges from construction sites disturbing 10 or more acres of land at one time.
While today's ruling removes the numeric limit, the other requirements of the ELG remain in place. EPA is expected to issue interim storm water management guidance for construction site operators as the agency works to refine the rule.
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GA Water Management PlanStormwater Management through responsible Erosion and Sediment Control Certification is only part of Georgia's effort to demonstrate responsible water stewardship.  When Georgians look back at the early part of the 21st century, they may well see 2008, 2009 and 2010 as the turning point when we quit taking Lanier for granted and began taking water conservation and planning seriously.
Georgians outside of Atlanta who are concerned about water use in the future should be paying special attention to their local water councils - their decisions are likely to have a dramatic impact on existing uses and future permit decisions.
EPD Investigates Dekalb County 
Is Dekalb Improperly Allowing Developers to Violate Water Protection Rules?
Dekalb County logo w streamIt's important to stay on top of our governments activities.  Whether an enforcement action or proposed actions that will change environmental laws. 
State Investigators will look to see if Dekalb County is following local and state erosion laws, according to the Watershed Protection Division of the EPD. They will inspect several DeKalb properties, along with record-keeping procedures, development plans, the number of county inspectors and the quality of the county's development staff.
The state will look at how well DeKalb is administrating their erosion and sediment control program  as a Local Issuing Authority (see page 7 of the 2009 Model Ordinance).  The maximum punishment could be decertification, which would mean DeKalb could no longer issue permits.
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Flood - Culvert failure"Historic Flooding in Northern Georgia, September 16-22, 2009

The USGS has released a new fact sheet summarizing the epic floods of 2009 in the Atlanta metropolitan area. This product provides the peak water levels (stages) and magnitudes of the flood waters that were recorded at selected USGS streamgages across the region, which in many cases were the highest ever recorded. The result of this flood was the loss of 11 lives and hundreds of millions of dollars in damages to homes, businesses, and public infrastructure.

The next time you finish a responsible construction project, take a drive, go for a hike, catch a fish or celebrate a successful hunt.....take a moment to think a grateful thought, make a difference somewhere with someone, and give thanks and honor to the United States of America and the sacrifice our past and present military men and women have provided so we can enjoy the liberty and freedom we share, and so easily take for granted!
This Newsletter is intended to be a useful tool for all individuals involved stormwater management, especially those on construction sites.  There is a lot happening now with water regulations!  If you have areas of interest you would like to discuss, or areas of concern you would like included in this newsletter, please contact us at 678-469-5120.
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T. Luke Owen, PG
Principal Trainer, NPDES Stormwater Training Institute