Oct 05, 2009

Dallas-Ft. Worth Contractors Work with Regulators to Protect Waterways

Partnership aims to reduce pollutant-laden storm water

Complying with the Clean Water Act and keeping waters of the U.S. free of pollution is the goal behind an agreement recently signed by TEXO, the Dallas-Ft. Worth Chapter of the Associated General Contractors and the Associated Builders and Contractors, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Under state and federal law administered by TCEQ and EPA, it is a violation of law to discharge pollutant-laden storm water into waters of the U.S. or state of Texas without a permit and in compliance with the requirements of the Texas Water Code and the federal Clean Water Act. TEXO and its members are launching a voluntary pilot test of a program to comply with both regulations thereby minimizing or eliminating the discharge of those pollutants.

"The pledge of local business and industry to comply with the law is essential to protecting water quality,” said EPA Region 6 Compliance Assurance and Enforcement Division Director John Blevins. “This program promises to be successful in minimizing runoff from construction sites both large and small into our lakes, streams and rivers.”

The agreement commits TEXO members to work together with state and federal agencies to take steps in the pilot program to prevent storm water pollution by educating and assisting members who voluntarily join the program. The program consists of an internal audit that each member performs at their construction sites, an agreement to participate in the program and an inspection of the site by TEXO’s environmental, safety and health professionals.

"TEXO is excited to be part of this agreement and looks forward to the partnership with EPA and TCEQ. The understanding and adherence to storm water regulations has been a focus of training for our membership for a number of years,” said TEXO President and CEO Raleigh K. Roussell. “This agreement today provides greater emphasis to our commitment to protect the waters of our State and Country.”

"The TCEQ is committed to exploring ways in which to partner with our regulated community to further advance the protection of our environment. This program, and TEXO's commitment to further educate, inform and assist builders in meeting federal and state storm water requirements will go a long way in helping us meet that goal," said TCEQ's John Sadlier, deputy director, Office of Compliance and Enforcement.

The agreement is similar to other programs in Texas that have or are reducing large amounts of pollutant-carrying sediment and thereby reducing the costs of maintenance of waterways and protecting aquatic life in streams and rivers.