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Water: Water Headlines

July 18, 2011

1) Update on the Cooling Water Intake Structures Proposed Rule
2) New and Improved EPA Website on Nitrogen & Phosphorus Pollution

1) Update on the Cooling Water Intake Structures Proposed Rule
WASHINGTON – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has extended the public comment period by 30 days for the Cooling Water Intake Structures proposed rule, a proposed water pollution control regulation based on Section 316(b) of the Clean Water Act. In response to requests from stakeholders, EPA will take additional comment until August 18, 2011 on this important proposed rule that aims to protect billions of fish and other aquatic organisms drawn each year into cooling water systems at large power plants and factories.

This change in the public comment period will not affect the EPA's schedule for issuing a Final Rule in July 2012.

The Agency will carefully consider public input received as EPA makes final decisions regarding the proposed rule. These comments will also be very helpful as EPA prepares the Final Rule.

The original 90-day public comment period was originally set to expire on July 19, 2011. EPA will be publishing a notice of this 30-day extension in the Federal Register.

For more: http://water.epa.gov/lawsregs/lawsguidance/cwa/316b/index.cfm

2) New and Improved EPA Website on Nitrogen & Phosphorus Pollution
Over the last 50 years, the amount of nitrogen and phosphorus pollution entering our waters has escalated dramatically, and is becoming one of America's costliest and most challenging environmental problems. In many parts of the country, nitrogen and phosphorus pollution negatively impacts human health, aquatic ecosystems, the economy, and people's quality of life. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has developed a new and improved website about nitrogen and phosphorus pollution to provide the public with information about this type of pollution-- where it comes from, its impacts on human health and aquatic ecosystems, and actions that people can take to help reduce it.

EPA's new website also includes updated information on states' progress in developing numeric water quality criteria for nutrients as part of their water quality standards regulations. EPA recognizes that states and local communities are best positioned to restore and protect their waters, and the agency is providing technical guidance and tools to help states develop numeric nutrient criteria for their water bodies.

To facilitate state and local efforts to reduce nutrient pollution, EPA is releasing a new Nitrogen and Phosphorus Pollution Data Access Tool. The goal of the tool is to support states in their nitrogen and phosphorus analyses by providing the most current data available on: the extent and magnitude of nitrogen and phosphorus pollution; water quality problems related to this pollution; and potential pollution sources in a format that is readily-accessible and easy-to-use. With this comprehensive data, EPA, the states, and other stakeholders will be able to more quickly gather additional, less-accessible data and develop effective source reduction strategies for nitrogen and phosphorus.

The website is available at: http://www.epa.gov/nutrientpollution/


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