EPA Proposes New Effluent Limitations for Power Plants


On April 19, 2013, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released its proposed rule establishing Effluent Limitations Guidelines and Standards for the Steam Electric Power Generating Point Source Category. Although broadly applicable to wastewater discharges from all nuclear and fossil-fuel fired power plants, significant burdens arise for coal-fired units due to aspects of the rule relating coal combustion residuals (CCRs). The rule proposal is still in prepublication form and will be officially published in the Federal Register in the next few weeks. The public will then have 60 days to comment on the proposal. EPA is under a consent decree to finalize the rule by May 22, 2014.

Restrictions Imposed by the Rule -

The current rule proposal actually includes eight regulatory alternatives, of which, EPA has identified four preferred alternatives for existing sources and one preferred alternative for new sources. EPA is requesting comment on these alternatives.

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