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The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has presented its draft proposal on stormwater permitting regulation and has opened the proposed rules for public comment.

Issuing stormwater permits is currently managed by each individual state by applying its own stormwater permitting system, explained Stephen Richmond, environmental lawyer at Beveridge & Diamond, in a new analysis. However, four states — Idaho, New Hampshire, New Mexico and Massachusetts — have no stormwater management programs in place and dischargers from these states apply to the federal agency for their permit.

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The finalized version of the regulation will not be ready before the second quarter of 2014 or even later. Despite the fact that they will directly affect just four states, the rules are likely to set a model for all other jurisdictions, Richmond commented.

The EPA proposes that each permit holder should make available a copy of its Stormwater Pollution Prevent Plan where any member of the public could have access to it, the Water Online website said. According to the analysis, the new rules are expected to "substantially tighten up language associated with the conduct of corrective actions" and will also introduce more stringent reporting requirements. As part of the proposed updates to the rules, permit holders will be expected to submit a summary of the routine inspections and assessments conducted at the facility throughout the previous year.