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Water: New Facilities

Notice of Data Availability for Proposed Regulations Establishing Location, Design, Construction and Capacity Standards for Cooling Water Intake Structures at New Facilities

out of date Note: EPA no longer updates this information, but it may be useful as a reference or resource.



  • On August 10, 2000, EPA published proposed regulations intended to protect fish and other aquatic organisms from being killed or injured by cooling water intake structures used by some new power plants and industrial facilities. (See 65 Fed. Reg. 49060)
  • This Notice makes available for public review new data and information obtained since proposal. The Notice discusses recent energy demand projections and provides information and data related to a broad range of options for the final rule, including an industry-suggested variation on one of the proposed options.


Cooling water intake structures used by some electricity-generating stations and large factories may injure or kill large numbers of aquatic organisms by pinning them against intake screens or carrying them into and through cooling systems. Section 316(b) of the Clean Water Act requires EPA to ensure that "the location, design, construction and capacity of cooling water intake structures reflect the best technology available for minimizing adverse environmental impact."

By court order, EPA must take final action on regulations for new facilities by November 9, 2001. The same court order requires EPA to propose regulations for, at a minimum, existing steam-electric power plants that use large volumes of cooling water by February 2002 and take final action by August 2003. EPA must propose regulations that, at a minimum, address smaller-flow, existing power plants and large factories by June 2003 and take final action by December 2004.

Additional Information

You can get additional technical information visiting our internet website at http://www.epa.gov/waterscience/316b/.

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