S 898

112th CONGRESS
1st Session

S. 898

To amend title 23, United States Code, to direct the Secretary to establish a comprehensive design standard program to prevent, control, and treat polluted stormwater runoff from federally funded highways and roads, and for other purposes.

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

May 5, 2011

Mr. CARDIN introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Environment and Public Works


A BILL

To amend title 23, United States Code, to direct the Secretary to establish a comprehensive design standard program to prevent, control, and treat polluted stormwater runoff from federally funded highways and roads, and for other purposes.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the `Safe Treatment of Polluted Stormwater Runoff Act' or the `STOPS Runoff Act'.

SEC. 2. FEDERAL-AID HIGHWAY RUNOFF POLLUTION MANAGEMENT PROGRAM.

    (a) In General- Chapter 3 of title 23, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following:

`SEC. 330. FEDERAL-AID HIGHWAY RUNOFF POLLUTION MANAGEMENT PROGRAM.

    `(a) Definitions- In this section:

      `(1) CONTROL MEASURE- The term `control measure' means a program, structural or nonstructural management practice, operational procedure, or policy on or off the project site that is intended to prevent, reduce, or control highway runoff pollution.

      `(2) COVERED PROJECT- The term `covered project' means a rehabilitation, reconfiguration, renovation, major resurfacing, or construction project carried out under this title that--

        `(A) results in a 10-percent or greater increase in impervious surface of the aerial extent within the right-of-way of the project limit on a Federal-aid highway or associated facility; or

        `(B) results in an increase of 1 acre or more in impervious surface coverage.

      `(3) HIGHWAY RUNOFF POLLUTION- The term `highway runoff pollution' means, in relation to a Federal-aid highway, associated facility, or control measure retrofit project, one or more of the following:

        `(A) A discharge of sediment, metals, chemicals, nitrogen and phosphorous, or oil and grease in runoff.

        `(B) A discharge of peak flow rate, water temperature, or volume of runoff that exceeds predevelopment amounts.

      `(4) PREDEVELOPMENT HYDROLOGY- The term `predevelopment hydrology' means, for project sites covered by this section, that--

        `(A) the precipitation from all rainfall events less than or equal to the 95th percentile rain event shall be managed on-site through stormwater management practices designed, constructed, and maintained to prevent off-site discharge, to the maximum extent technically feasible; or

        `(B) runoff typical of natural conditions prior to anthropogenic disturbance, as determined by site-specific conditions, local meteorology, and continuous simulation modeling techniques, are preserved through stormwater management practices that are designed, constructed, and maintained to manage the volume, rate, and temperature of stormwater runoff following construction.

      `(5) WATERSHED-BASED ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT APPROACH- The term `watershed-based environmental management approach' means an approach under which--

        `(A) the selection of solutions that prevent or minimize the environmental impact of an individual project is made within the broader context of the environmental protection and restoration goals of any watershed that drains the project site, rather than selecting solutions solely based on site level considerations; and

        `(B) priority consideration is given to--

          `(i) protection of drinking water supplies;

          `(ii) protection and restoration of waterways listed by a State as impaired in accordance with section 303(d) of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (33 U.S.C. 1313(d));

          `(iii) preservation of aquatic ecosystems and fisheries; and

          `(iv) cost-effective expenditure of Federal funds.

    `(b) Establishment- The Secretary, with the concurrence of the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, shall establish a Federal-aid highway runoff pollution avoidance and management program to ensure that covered projects are sited, constructed, and maintained in accordance with design standards intended to protect surface and ground water quality and ensure the long-term management of stormwater originating from Federal-aid highways.

    `(c) Project Approval- The Secretary may approve a covered project of a State under section 106 only if the State provides assurances satisfactory to the Secretary that the State will site, design, and construct the covered project in accordance with the design standards described in subsection (d).

    `(d) Design Standards-

      `(1) IN GENERAL- The post-construction condition of a covered project shall maintain or restore, to the maximum extent technically feasible, the predevelopment hydrology of the project site with regard to the temperature, rate, chemical composition, volume, and duration of flow.

      `(2) COVERED PROJECTS IN IMPAIRED WATERSHEDS- Any covered project carried out within a watershed that contains an impaired water listed under section 303(d) of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (33 U.S.C. 1313(d)) shall be in accordance with--

        `(A) the load or wasteload allocation requirements established by the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency or the State; and

        `(B) the requirements relating to predevelopment hydrology under paragraph (1).

      `(3) ADDITIONAL PRIORITIZED REQUIREMENTS- In addition to the requirements described in paragraphs (1) and (2), a covered project shall, in the following order of priority--

        `(A) reduce the creation of highway runoff pollution from the covered project by--

          `(i) avoiding or minimizing the alteration of natural features and hydrology; and

          `(ii) maximizing the use of pollution source control measures that use existing terrain and natural features, including natural drainage ways, soils, and vegetation, to reduce creation of pollution from the covered project;

        `(B) maximize the capture of highway runoff pollution created by the covered project through control measures, including environmental site design techniques and other control measures that promote evapotranspiration, infiltration, reuse, and retention; and

        `(C) for highway runoff pollution remaining after the application of the onsite measures in subparagraphs (A) and (B), use a watershed-based environmental management or equivalent approach to avoid adverse water quality effects from the covered project through--

          `(i) capture and treatment of highway runoff pollution with appropriate control measures on the site;

          `(ii) discharge of highway runoff pollution directly to an off-site control measure under the control of the State with documented capacity to provide functionally and quantitatively equivalent management of runoff pollution to that required to achieve the minimum standards of this subsection for the design life of the project; and

          `(iii) if the control measures described in clauses (i) and (ii) are found to be technically infeasible based on site conditions or other appropriate factors, and an appropriate off-site runoff pollution mitigation program exists, contribution to a mitigation program that would produce functionally and quantitatively equivalent or greater control and management of runoff pollution to that required by this subsection.

      `(4) OFF-SITE CONTROL MEASURES- Of the control measures described in paragraph (3)(C)(iii), the Secretary shall give priority to off-site control measures that address the impacts of runoff pollution to waterways that are--

        `(A) listed as impaired in accordance with section 303(d) of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (33 U.S.C. 1313(d)); and

        `(B) located in--

          `(i) the same 8-digit Hydrologic Unit Code as the covered project; or

          `(ii) the lowest Hydrologic Unit Code that is the most protective of the waters receiving the discharge.

    `(e) Guidance-

      `(1) IN GENERAL- Not later than 180 days after the date of enactment of this section, the Secretary, with the concurrence of the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, shall publish guidance to assist States in complying with this section.

      `(2) CONTENTS OF GUIDANCE- The guidance shall include guidelines for the establishment of State processes and programs that will be used to assist in avoiding, minimizing, and managing highway runoff pollution from covered projects in accordance with the design standards described in subsection (d), including guidelines--

        `(A) to help States integrate the planning, selection, design, and long-term operation and maintenance of control measures consistent with the design standards in the overall project planning process;

        `(B) for a watershed-based environmental management approach to assist projects in achieving consistency with the design standards;

        `(C) for the development and use of off-site runoff pollution mitigation programs to achieve compliance with the design standards; and

        `(D) for State inspection and reporting to document State compliance and project consistency with this section.

      `(3) UPDATING STANDARDS- Not later than 5 years after the date of publication of the guidance, and every 5 years thereafter, the Secretary, with concurrence of the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, shall update, as applicable, the guidance described in this subsection.

    `(f) Limitation on Statutory Construction- Nothing in this section affects the applicability of any provision of Federal, State, or local law that is more stringent than the requirements of this section.

    `(g) Reporting-

      `(1) IN GENERAL- Except as provided in paragraph (2)(A), the Secretary shall require each State to submit to the Secretary an annual report that describes the highway runoff pollution reductions achieved for covered projects carried out by the State after the date of enactment of this section.

      `(2) REPORTING REQUIREMENTS UNDER PERMIT-

        `(A) IN GENERAL- A State shall not be required to submit an annual report described in paragraph (1) if the State--

          `(i) is operating Federal-aid highways in the State in a post-construction condition in accordance with a permit issued under the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (33 U.S.C. 1251 et seq.);

          `(ii) is subject to an annual reporting requirement under such a permit (regardless of whether the permitting authority is a Federal or State agency); and

          `(iii) carries out a covered project with respect to a Federal-aid highway in the State described in clause (i).

        `(B) TRANSMISSION OF REPORT- A Federal or State permitting authority that receives an annual report described in subparagraph (A)(ii) shall, upon receipt of such a report, transmit a copy of the report to the Secretary.'.

    (b) Effective Date- This Act and the amendments made by this Act apply to covered projects (as defined in section 330(a)(2) of title 23, United States Code) (as added by subsection (a)), the construction of which commences on or after the date that is 1 year after the date of enactment of this Act.

    (c) Clerical Amendment- The analysis for chapter 3 of title 23, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following:

      `330. Federal-aid highway runoff pollution management program.'.

END