Are Recent Changes to the Clean Water Act (Section 316(b)) Affecting Your Operations?

Estimated to impact more than 1000 power plants, manufacturing, and pulp and paper facilities, recent changes to the Clean Water Act (Section 316(b)) are affecting facilities withdrawing more than 2 million gallons per day (MGD) of cooling water from lakes, rivers, estuaries, or oceans.

Notable components and changes to the final rule include:

  • Revised definitions, which affect their regulatory implication and applicability;
  • Selection between seven (7) options for reduction of fish impingement via best technology available (BTA) for existing facilities, and two (2) alternatives for new units;
  • Study requirements for facilities withdrawing more than 125 MGD regarding site specific entrainment mortality controls and reduction of entrainment of aquatic organisms; and
  • Compliance schedule requirements for submitting reports and supporting documents under the NPDES-permit cycle.

While many industrial sectors are affected by these recent changes, sectors with the largest number of regulated facilities include:

  • Electric generating plants
  • Pulp and paper mills
  • Chemical manufacturing plants
  • Iron and steel manufacturing
  • Petroleum refineries
  • Food processing
  • Aluminum manufacturing.

Are these changes impacting your operations? Contact our Compliance Service Line Leader, Amy Bauer, to find out. EHS Support can help your team understand the revised regulations and obtain compliance, on a facility-specific basis.

Additional information may be found at: http://water.epa.gov/lawsregs/lawsguidance/cwa/316b/

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