"The Environmental Protection Agency issued a final rule Monday aimed at reducing pollution from construction sites, saying that it will significantly improve the quality of water nationwide.
The rule will be phased in over four years, starting in February, and when it is fully in effect, the EPA estimates there will be four billion fewer pounds of sediment discharged from construction sites each year.
Nearly 82,000 home builders, commercial and industrial building contractors, and civil-engineering companies are expected to be covered by the rule, which the EPA estimates will impose about $953 million of annual costs.
Such costs could raise home prices and cause a small number of builders to go out of business, resulting in some job losses, the EPA said in a draft version of the final rule. It said job losses may be temporary given the relatively high turnover in the construction industry, and acknowledged that the new rule is being introduced at a time when construction has fallen off sharply."