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EPA/WATER RIN: 2040-AE95 Publication ID: Spring 2010 
Title: Criteria and Standards for Cooling Water Intake Structures 
Abstract: Section 316(b) of the Clean Water Act (CWA) requires EPA to ensure that the location, design, construction, and capacity of cooling water intake structures reflect the best technology available (BTA) for minimizing adverse environmental impacts. In developing regulations to implement section 316(b), EPA divided its effort into three rulemaking phases. Phase II, for existing electric generating plants that use at least 50 MGD of cooling water, was completed in July 2004. Industry and environmental stakeholders challenged the Phase II regulations. On review, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit remanded several key provisions. In July 2007, EPA suspended Phase II. Following the decision in the Second Circuit, several parties petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court to review that decision, and the Supreme Court granted the petitions, limited to the issue of whether the Clean Water Act authorized EPA to consider the relationship of costs and benefits in establishing section 316(b) standards. On April 1, 2009, the Supreme Court reversed the Second Circuit, finding that the Agency may consider cost-benefit analysis in its decisionmaking, but not holding that the Agency must consider costs and benefits in these decisions. In June 2006, EPA promulgated the Phase III regulation, covering existing electric generating plants using less than 50 MGD of cooling water, new offshore oil and gas facilities, and all existing manufacturing facilities. Petitions to review this rule were filed in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. EPA has asked for a partial voluntary remand of the determinations in the Phase III regulation concerning existing facilities, in order to issue a regulation that addresses both Phase II and III existing facilities. EPA expects this new rulemaking would apply to the approximately 1,200 existing electric generating and manufacturing plants. 
Agency: Environmental Protection Agency(EPA)  Priority: Economically Significant 
RIN Status: Previously published in the Unified Agenda Agenda Stage of Rulemaking: Proposed Rule Stage 
Major: Yes  Unfunded Mandates: Undetermined 
CFR Citation: 40 CFR 122    40 CFR 123    40 CFR 124    40 CFR 125   
Legal Authority: CWA 101    CWA 308    CWA 316    CWA 402    CWA 501    CWA 510   
Legal Deadline:  None
Action Date FR Cite
NPRM  09/00/2010    
Final Action  07/00/2012    
Additional Information: SAN No. 5210; EPA Docket information: EPA-HQ-OW-2008-0667.
Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: Undetermined  Government Levels Affected: Local, State 
Small Entities Affected: No  Federalism: Undetermined 
Included in the Regulatory Plan: Yes 
RIN Information URL:  
RIN Data Printed in the FR: No 
Agency Contact:
Paul Shriner
Environmental Protection Agency
Washington, DC 20460
Phone:202 566-1076

Jan Matuszko
Environmental Protection Agency
Washington, DC 20460
Phone:202 566-1035
Fax:202 566-1053

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