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Water: Cooling Water Intakes (316b)

Cooling Water Intake Structures - Section 316(b) - QUARTERLY STATUS REPORT - April 12, 1999

Cronin, et al. v. Browner

U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York

No. 93 Civ. 0314 (AGS)

Pursuant to paragraph 3(a) of the Consent Decree in the above-referenced matter, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency ("EPA" or "the Agency") provides this Quarterly Status Report concerning its actions to propose and take final action with respect to regulations under

§ 316(b) of the Clean Water Act ("CWA").

EPA reported previously that it did not believe it can meet the deadlines contained in the Consent Decree for proposing and taking final action with respect to a regulation under § 316(b). Over the past several months, EPA project staff have met with senior Agency managers to develop a revised work plan for the § 316(b) rule. On April 2, 1999, the Agency formally notified plaintiffs pursuant to Paragraph 4(b)(i) of the Consent Decree that the Administrator intends to file a motion seeking modification of the July 2, 1999 deadline for a proposal under

§ 316(b). EPA also intends to move the court to modify the August 13, 2001 deadline for taking final action with respect to the § 316(b) regulations, to maintain an appropriate interval between the dates for proposal and final action, as reflected in the current Consent Decree. EPA has scheduled a meeting with the plaintiffs for April 26, 1999, to discuss modification of the Consent Decree deadlines.

EPA project staff continue to devote a significant amount of time and effort to revising the three tiered draft regulatory framework that EPA presented at a public meeting in June 1998. For example, EPA staff have revised Tier II of the draft regulatory framework in response to concerns raised at the public meeting. The Agency also continues to work on the Information Collection Request (ICR) for the detailed industry questionnaire, described in previous status reports, for submission to OMB. EPA expects to have the ICR completed in the near future. EPA stated in the last Status Report that a summary of the September public meeting would soon be available for viewing on EPA's § 316(b) web site at http://www.epa.gov/waterscience/316b/. That summary has now been posted. In addition, the full transcripts of both the June and the September public meetings are now available for viewing on the § 316(b) web site.

Finally, on March 30, 1999, EPA project staff met in Woodstown, New Jersey with several environmental groups at their request. Among the groups represented were Delaware Riverkeeper Network, NO Environmental Federation, Green Delaware, Estuary Action Group for a Lasting Environment (EAGLE), Clean Ocean Action, and Coalition for Peace and Justice. A representative from EPA Region 2 was also in attendance. Much of the dialogue focused on the use of mitigation to minimize adverse impacts.

The undersigned, James F. Pendergast, is Acting Director of the Permits Division of EPA's Office of Wastewater Management. The Permits Division has primary responsibility for discharging EPA's duties under the Consent Decree.

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James F. Pendergast


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