EPA issues final 316(b) Cooling Water Intake Rule
Via Power magazine
Final rules governing cooling water intake structures at 544 U.S. power plants by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today furnish facilities with lower cost compliance options than initially proposed to reduce fish impingement.
The final rule issued under Section 316(b) of the Clean Water Act applies to facilities that each withdraw at least two million gallons per day of cooling water. The national requirements, which will be implemented through National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits “puts implementation analysis in the hands of the permit writers so requirements can be tailored to the particular facility,” the EPA said today.
The rule requires that existing facilities that withdraw at least 25% of their water from an adjacent waterbody exclusively for cooling purposes must reduce fish impingement. To “ensure flexibility,” the EPA, however, gives generators seven options for meeting “best technology available (BTA)” requirements for reducing impingement whose performance is equivalent to, or better performing than modified traveling screens.