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Water: Cooling Water Intakes (316b)

New Deadlines for 316(b) Regulations

On November 22, 2002, EPA and plaintiffs in Riverkeeper, Inc. v. Whitman submitted a proposed Second Amended Consent Decree to the U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, which the court signed on November 25, 2002.

The Second Amended Consent Decree extends the deadlines for EPA to propose and take final action on regulations under section 316(b) of the Clean Water Act to minimize the adverse environmental impact of cooling water intake structures at industrial facilities.

Under the Second Amended Consent Decree, the new deadlines for rulemaking are as follows:

Phase II regulations governing, at a minimum, existing utilities and non-utility power producers that employ a cooling water intake structure, and whose flow levels exceed a minimum threshold to be determined by EPA: Final action by February 16, 2004 (EPA proposed Phase II regulations on February 28, 2002)

Phase III regulations governing, at a minimum, existing facilities that employ a cooling water intake structure, that are not covered by the Phase II rule, and whose intake flow levels exceed a minimum threshold to be determined by EPA: Proposal by November 1, 2004; Final action by June 1, 2006

(NOTE: EPA proposed Phase I regulations governing new facilities that employ a cooling water intake structure on July 20, 2000. EPA took Final action on the Phase I regulations on November 9, 2001).


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