Thursday, July 19, 2012

NAHB develops new tool that shows the real impact of construction on stormwater discharge

A new slide presentation can help HBAs and developers overcome the myth home building is a major source of water pollutants because of stormwater runoff from construction sites.

Based on a federal report released in 2009, Water Quality and the Construction Industry details how agriculture, dam making and other activities overwhelmingly affect water quality, while the sediment released from residential construction accounted for 0.15% -- or significantly less than 1% -- of the total sediment in surface waters.

“EPA’s own data shows that pollutant discharges from construction sites have decreased over time . . .primarily due to the steps that builders and developers take to control the stormwater that runs off of their sites,” according to the talking points accompanying the presentation.

“Due to these gains and EPA’s admission that ‘construction sites are already being adequately addressed through existing programs,’” there is little need for states or municipalities to take additional steps to control construction site runoff. In fact, in most instances doing so would only result in higher construction costs and higher home prices, but little or no added environmental benefit,” the presentation says.

The slide presentation is part of the “Land Use 101” package of detailed information and background materials on infrastructure, green development and other topics.

Visit the Land Use 101 webinar replay page to learn more about the toolkit and its more than 50 presentations tailor-made for HBA members and leaders.

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