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Water: Cooling Water Intakes (316b)

Quarterly Status Reports - October 2004

REPORT ON STATUS OF § 316(b) RULEMAKING

Riverkeeper, Inc. v. Leavitt
U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York
No. 93 Civ. 0314
October 14, 2004

Pursuant to paragraphs 4(a) (b) and (c) of the Second Amended Consent Decree in the above-referenced matter, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency ("EPA" or "the Agency") provides this status report concerning its actions during the fourth quarter of the calendar year to propose and take final action with respect to regulations under § 316(b) of the Clean Water Act ("CWA").

Progress in Development of Rules Since Last Report

Phase I

EPA published final "Phase I" regulations addressing cooling water intake structures at new facility power plants and factories on December 18, 2001 (66 FR 65256). EPA published clarifying amendments to the Phase I regulations on June 19, 2003 (68 FR 36749). As reported last quarter, to address the partial remand of the Phase I rule in response to Riverkeeper, Inc. v. United States Environmental Protection Agency, 358 F.3d 174 (2nd Cir. 2004), Jim Hanlon, Director of the Office of Wastewater Management, and I sent a memo to all EPA Regional Water Management Division Directors on June 16, 2004, directing them not to employ restoration measures in permits as a means of compliance with the Phase I regulations.

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Phase II

EPA published final "Phase II" regulations addressing cooling water intake structures at existing power plants withdrawing 50 million gallons per day or more on July 9, 2004 (69 FR 41576). EPA conducted no regulatory development activities for Phase II existing facilities during this reporting period.

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Phase III

EPA staff prepared draft proposed rule and preamble language and also prepared draft supporting documents: (1) Technical Development Document; (2) Economic and Benefits Analyses Document; and (3) Regional Analyses Document. EPA staff also drafted an Information Collection Request (ICR) covering the reporting and record keeping burdens associated with the proposal, pursuant to the Paperwork Reduction Act. Final Agency Review of the proposal by an Agency workgroup began on July 20, 2004, and concluded on August 2, 2004. Since then, EPA staff have continued to revise and refine preamble and regulatory text and analyses of engineering costs, economic impacts, ecological impacts and benefits.

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Status of Attainment of Consent Decree Deadlines and Milestones

EPA is currently on schedule to meet the approaching milestones and deadlines set forth in the Second Amended Consent Decree to propose Phase III Regulations no later than November 1, 2004. In the third quarter of this calendar year, EPA has not encountered any delays or obstacles in performing its obligations under the consent decree. EPA does not expect to encounter any such delays or obstacles in the fourth quarter of this year.

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Staffing and Funding of the Rulemaking Effort

Pursuant to paragraph (4)(a)(4) of the Second amended Consent Decree, this report provides an estimate of any changes to staffing and funding estimates provided in the status reports for fourth quarter of calendar year 2003 and the first quarter of calendar year 2004. There have been no changes in the estimates provided in the status reports for the fourth quarter of calendar year 2003 or the first quarter of calendar year 2004.

The undersigned, Geoffrey H. Grubbs, is Director of the Office of Science and Technology of EPA's Office of Water. The Office of Science and Technology has primary responsibility for discharging EPA's duties under the Second Amended Consent Decree.

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/s/
_____________________________
Geoffrey H. Grubbs, Director
Office of Science and Technology
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency


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