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EPA says it plans to issue rule on cooling water intake structures on May 16


From the April 21, 2014 issue of Public Power Daily

Originally published April 21, 2014

By Jeannine Anderson
Editor
The Environmental Protection Agency said last week that it plans to issue a final rule on May 16 regulating cooling water intake structures at power plants and manufacturing facilities. The rule falls under Section 316(b) of the Clean Water Act.

Under a settlement with environmental groups, the agency had said it would issue the rule by April 17. But in an April 17 letter to a federal district court, the agency said it needed another 29 days to complete the regulation.

The EPA said the 316(b) rule has been held up by an Endangered Species Act consultation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries Services.  Originally, the EPA had concluded that the rule was unlikely to have an adverse impact on endangered species. However, in informal consultations with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries Services, the resource agencies disagreed.  

Riverkeeper and other environmental groups involved in the court settlement have said they are taking the EPA back to court to push the agency into finishing the rule. 

Riverkeeper and its co-plaintiffs already have given the EPA several extensions. Anticipating the possibility of another missed deadline, the environmental groups set a conference date with the judge for this week, and reportedly plan to use it to ask for a court-ordered deadline.
 

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Meena Dayak
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Jeannine Anderson
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