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May 19, 2014
Alert! EPA issues cooling water intake requirements for existing plants

EPA has issued a final rule that establishes requirements under the Clean Water Act for all existing power generating facilities and existing manufacturing and industrial facilities that withdraw more than 2 million gallons per day of water from waters of the U.S. and use at least 25 percent of the water they withdraw exclusively for cooling purposes.

More coverage: Cooling water rule tilts toward industry

This rule covers roughly 1,065 existing facilities –521 of these facilities are factories, and the other 544 are power plants. The technologies required under the rule are well-understood, have been in use for several decades, and are in use at over 40 percent of facilities.

The regulations apply to facilities that use cooling water intake structures to withdraw water from waters of the U.S. and have or require an NPDES permit. Applicability for a specific facility depends on the industrial sector and the facility size. Many industrial sectors are affected; the sectors with the largest number of regulated facilities are:

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

Stay tuned as BLR experts examine the details of the new rule and explain how it will affect operations at your facility.

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