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EPA extends deadline for issuing final rule on cooling water intake structures

From the July 31, 2012 issue of Public Power Daily

Originally published July 31, 2012

The Environmental Protection Agency has extended by almost one year a deadline for issuing a final rule regulating cooling water intake structures for existing power plants and industrial facilities. Under an amendment to a court-approved settlement with Riverkeeper and other environmental groups, June 27, 2013, is the new deadline for EPA to issue the final rule under Section 316(b) of the Clean Water Act. EPA in June issued a notice of data availability in which the agency indicated its willingness to add flexibility to its proposed rule for cooling water intake structures at existing facilities. The extension will provide time to analyze public comments, data and options, the agency said.

In July 11 comments on the rulemaking, APPA said it appreciates EPA’s willingness to consider more site-specific approaches for setting controls on impingement mortality as well as approaches designed to make more workable any national requirements for reducing impingement mortality. Because impingement mortality of fish depends so much on individual site conditions, impingement requirements should be set by permitting authorities on a site-by-site basis, APPA said. Closed-cycle recirculating cooling systems should be deemed to satisfy all Section 316(b) requirements for both impingement and entrainment, the association said.


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