Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Important News for Construction and Development Projects

Important news for Construction and Development Projects

On November 23, 2009, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued effluent limitations guidelines and new source performance standards to control the discharge of pollutants from larger construction sites (10+ acres of disturbance). This rule requires construction site owners and operators to implement a range of erosion and sediment control measures and pollution prevention practices to control pollutants in discharges from construction sites. The final rule and a fact sheet are available at http://www.epa.gov/waterscience/guide/construction/ See article below from BNA.
Source: Daily Environment Report: All Issues > 2009 > November > 11/24/2009 224 DEN A-7
Water Pollution - EPA Issues Final Rule to Reduce Pollution
From Construction, Development Sites
The Environmental Protection Agency Nov. 23 released a final rule that for first time imposes national monitoring requirements and enforceable numeric limits on stormwater discharges from construction site.
The monitoring requirements and the numeric discharge limits apply to larger sites, those that disturb 10 acres or more.
EPA said the rule requires owners and operators of all construction sites disturbing one or more acres to use erosion and sediment control best management practices to ensure that soil disturbed during construction activity does not pollute nearby water bodies.
The rule, at 40 C.F.R. Part 450, establishes technology-based effluent limitations guidelines and new source performance standards for the construction and development point-source category. EPA said the rule will reduce the amount of sediment and other pollutants discharged from construction and development sites by approximately 4 billion pounds per year.
EPA was required under a court order to issue the final rule by Dec. 1.
The U.S. District Court for the Central District of California set the deadline in a 2006 decision that stemmed from a lawsuit filed by the Natural Resources Defense Council and Waterkeeper Alliance. That ruling was upheld in September 2008 by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit (Natural Resources Defense Council v. EPA, 9th Cir., No. 07-55183, 9/18/08; 183 DEN A-6, 9/22/08).
The rule will take effect 60 days after it is published in the Federal Register.
The rule affects about 82,000 firms, including residential and commercial construction companies and civil engineering firms involved in highway, street, and bridge construction, according to EPA.
Requirements to Be Phased In - Requirements in the rule will be phased in.
The largest sites, those that disturb 20 or more acres, will be required to monitor discharges and comply with the numeric effluent limitation starting 18 months after the effective date of the final rule.
The monitoring requirement and effluent limits will apply to sites that disturb between 10 acres and 19 acres four years after the effective date.
The agency expects that when the rule is fully incorporated into EPA and state National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permits, the annual cost of the rule will be $953 million.
The construction and demolition industry is the largest category of dischargers in the NPDES program, according to EPA. There are, however, currently no national performance standards or monitoring requirements for this category. The regulation establishes a technology-based floor or national minimum requirement and allows states to keep or enact more stringent requirements.
Permittees will have flexibility to select management practices or technologies that are best suited to site-specific conditions on each construction and demolition site if they can consistently meet the limitations and if they are consistent with requirements established by the permitting authority.
Water Quality Impairment
According to EPA, pollutants discharged from construction sites include sediment, turbidity, and nutrients, all of which contribute to water quality impairment nationwide. The disturbed soil, if not properly managed, can easily be washed off the construction site during storms and enter water bodies.
EPA published proposed regulations for the construction and demolition category on Nov. 28, 2008 (73 Fed. Reg. 72,562; 204 DEN A-11, 11/20/08).
The final rule includes several changes, including a different limit for turbidity, measured as nephelometric turbidity units, or NTUs. The numeric limitation in the final rule is 280 NTUs, expressed as a maximum daily discharge limitation, or the highest allowable daily discharge applicable to all sites more than 10 acres using best conventional control technology. EPA had initially proposed a standard of 13 NTUs for sites 30 acres or more meeting certain erosion standards. “EPA recognizes that meeting a numeric limitation is a significant change for this industry.” The agency said it has determined the final rule would result in the numeric effluent limitation and monitoring requirements applying to an estimated 73 percent of constructed acres per year. EPA said it also received comments expressing concern about the applicability of the final rule to linear construction sites. The final rule, in part based on this consideration, no longer contains a requirement to install a sediment basin, and revisions were made to the non-numeric effluent limitations based on these comments, the agency said.
Natural Gas Pipelines Addressed
EPA disagreed with comments suggesting EPA exempt all linear projects from the final rule or from the numeric effluent limitation. But based on the unique circumstances of interstate natural gas pipeline construction projects, EPA said it chose not to have numeric limitations and monitoring requirements apply to them.This exemption only applies to discharges associated with construction of interstate natural gas pipelines that are under the jurisdiction of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, EPA said.
In addition, EPA said it received comments encouraging the agency to include in the final rule controls on stormwater discharges that occur after construction has ceased, or “post-construction”stormwater discharges. While these are outside this rule's scope, EPA said it is committed to a rulemaking addressing stormwater discharges from newly developed sites and is drafting a survey (74 Fed. Reg. 56,191, 10/30/09; 208 DEN A-10, 10/30/09). Jeffrey Odefey, an attorney representing the Natural Resources Defense Council, said that although the rule “is by no means perfect, it is a significant step forward moving in the right direction.”It finally would provide a nationwide standard to large construction sites, he said, although NRDC would prefer that it be more stringent. It could also provide “more meaningful leadership” on erosion and sediment control practices.
However, it is important that the rule allows states to take more progressive action if they wish, he said.
Representatives from the National Association of Home Builders could not be reached for comment.
By Linda Roeder
For technical information on the rule, contact Jesse Pritts at (202) 566-1038 or pritts.jesse@epa.gov. For economic information, contact Todd Doley at (202) 566-1160 or doley.todd@epa.gov. For information on environmental benefits, contact Ashley Allen at(202) 566-1012 or allen.ashley@epa.gov.
Should there be any questions or comments, or if BCF Management Group, LLC can be of any assistance in this issue, please contact Brian Farrar at Brian@BCFMGMTGroup.com or 1-239-580-8840

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Florida Senate Bill 360 - Extension of Building Permits and Development Orders

Senate Bill 360, as passed during the 2009 legislative session and signed by the Governor on June 1st, 2009 extends up to two years the expiration date of local government-issued developemnt orders or building permits that have an expiration date of September 1, 2008 through January 1, 2012. In order to recieve the extension application must be made in writing no later than December 31, 2009. Each County and Community have different applications so now is the time to prepare.

To find out more about how to recieve this extension, please contact Brian F. Farrar with BCF Management Group,LLC at (239) 580-8840 or Brian@BCFMGMTGROUP.com

BCF Management Group, LLC Announces New Services

Estero, FL -- BCF Management Group, LLC, a consulting firm specializing in all facets of land management, has announced that it now provides General Contractor Services.

According to company president Brian Farrar, this additional expertise broadens the scope of the firms variety of services related to acquisition, entitlements and the construction of residential and commercial projects throughout the Southeastern United States.

According to Farrar, the firm works with landowners, investors and other principals involved in building and land development. The company maximizes property values while containing costs by facilitating effective communication with regard to permitting and other specific project issues in both the private and public sector.

“Our extensive experience in handling a wide range of entitlement and construction-related issues has helped us become a trusted advisor to those looking to complete a project on time and within budget,” Farrar said, adding, “We help our clients avoid the numerous pitfalls that can take place throughout the many stages of the entitlement and development processes.

The company works in the areas of pre-development management, including all federal, state or local permitting issues, development/construction management, and financial management for a project.

Farrar’s 20+ years of experience in SW Florida includes successfully managing a local development company’s property portfolio as Vice President, Director of Land Development and as a Project Manager at two local Civil Engineering firms. He is currently the Chairman of the Board with the Bonita Springs Area Chamber of Commerce – where he was named Director of the Year for 2006-2007 – and is a past president of the Lee County Building Industry Association. He also currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Corkscrew Regional Ecosystem Watershed Land and Water Trust Board and the Bonita Springs YMCA.

For more information on the services provided by BCF Management Group, please contact Brian Farrar at (239) 580-8840 or Brian@BCFMGMTGROUP.com

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

"Entitlement Preservation" – A New Paradigm

The time to secure Entitlement Rights is NOW. Where land owners, investment groups, developers and builders have traditionally focused on the multi-faceted process of coordination of land use entitlements through the local, state and federal agencies from vacant land to final completion of a residential community, Industrial or Retail Center, these groups are now beginning to shift the focus to "Preserving and Maintaining" the existing entitlements to extend the opportunity for future Development.

Numerous projects throughout Florida, and the US for that matter, are idle after expensive entitlement processes were undertaken and now could be lost if actions are not taken. While seemingly counter-intuitive at this time, steps to secure some type of Entitlement Preservation should be taken before the land values are depreciated further -- caused by the loss of entitlement rights. The cost to secure versus the “cost” associated with diminishment in value due to loss of entitlements provides an excellent return on cost invested.

It’s an excellent time to speak with a Land Use professional. If you have any questions regarding your project or real estate investment, please feel free to contact BCF Management Group, LLC and we will evaluate the situation. Each property holds varying entitlements and therefore different values, you should be aware of all the issues that would provide you with the highest and best use.