The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has considered implementing new stormwater regulations for commercial buildings for the past several years. Under a settlement agreement with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, EPA agreed to promulgate a rule that would require commercial buildings to maintain the hydrologic characteristics of a new development site to that of undeveloped land.
New federal regulations will be extremely costly to the real estate industry and could impose new unproven technologies as mandates. While the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has highlighted certain measures that have shown to be beneficial for certain properties — such as rain gardens, green roofs and pervious pavements — it is not realistic to impose these and other measures on a national scale for all properties.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed rulemaking for stormwater management was originally scheduled to be completed by December 10, 2013. Having missed the deadline, EPA representatives announced that they are deferring action on the rulemaking. They have stated that they will now focus their efforts on providing incentives, technical assistance and tools to communities to encourage them to implement strong stormwater programs; leverage existing requirements to strengthen municipal stormwater permits; and continue to promote green infrastructure as an integral part of stormwater management.