The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is cracking down on storm-water compliance, beginning with enforcement against larger builders.
"They're saying to the industry, 'We've done the education, and there's still low compliance, so now we're going to start enforcing,'" says Amy Ericksen, environmental policy analyst with the NAHB.
EPA spokesman Andrew Spejewski says industry education will continue but that the agency needs to end what it sees as widespread noncompliance with 1992's Phase I enactment of the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System. That required a Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan, or SP4, from builders affecting sites of 5 acres or more.
On March 10, 2003, the Phase II threshold of 1 acre went into effect. Since then, the EPA has revamped its storm-water compliance and enforcement strategy, announcing it will place enforcement priority on large national residential builders and big-box retail developers.
"But it's not just the big builders who should be concerned," says Ericksen, noting that the EPA plans to enforce Phase II violations in 2008 if compliance is low. She advises all builders to "follow the paperwork to the letter."
Visit www.cicacenter.org  for state-specific regulations and forms.