RIN Data

EPA/WATER RIN: 2040-AF14 Publication ID: 2012 
Title: Effluent Limitations Guidelines and Standards for the Steam Electric Power Generating Point Source Category 
Abstract: EPA establishes national technology-based regulations, called effluent limitations guidelines and standards, to reduce discharges of pollutants from industries to waters of the U.S. These requirements are incorporated into National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) discharge permits issued by EPA and States and through the national pretreatment program. The steam electric effluent guidelines apply to steam electric power plants using nuclear or fossil fuels, such as coal, oil, and natural gas. There are about 1,200 nuclear- and fossil-fueled steam electric power plants nationwide; approximately 500 of these power plants are coal-fired. In a study completed in 2009, EPA found that the current regulations, which were last updated in 1982, do not adequately address the pollutants being discharged and have not kept pace with changes that have occurred in the electric power industry over the last three decades. Power plant discharges can have impacts on water quality, including reduced organism abundance and species diversity and contamination of drinking water sources. Pollutants of concern include metals (e.g., mercury, arsenic, and selenium), nutrients, and total dissolved solids. 
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 423 (revision)   
Legal Authority: 33 USC 1311    33 USC 1314    33 USC 1316    33 USC 1317    33 USC 1318    33 USC 1342    33 USC 1361   
Legal Deadline:
Action Source Description Date
Final  Judicial  4/19/2013 - Consent Decree deadline for Final Action - Defenders of Wildlife v. Jackson, 10-1915, D. D.C.  04/19/2013 
NPRM  Judicial  Consent Decree  12/14/2012 

Statement of Need: As described, EPA determined the existing regulations do not adequately address the pollutants being discharged and that revisions are appropriate.

Summary of the Legal Basis: Section 301(b)(2) of the Clean Water Act requires EPA to promulgate effluent limitations for categories of point sources, using technology-based standards, that govern the sources' discharge of certain pollutants. 33 USC Section 1311(b). Section 304(b) of the Act directs EPA to develop effluent limitations guidelines (ELGs) that identify certain technologies and control measures available to achieve effluent reductions for each point source category, specifying factors to be taken into account in identifying those technologies and control measures. 33 U.S.C. Section 1314(b). Since the 1970s, EPA has formulated effluent limitations and ELGs in tandem through a single administrative process. Am. Frozen Food Inst. v. Train, 539 F.2d 107 (D.C. Cir. 1976). The CWA also requires EPA to perform an annual review of existing ELGs and to revise them, if appropriate. 33 U.S.C. Section 1314(b); see also 33 U.S.C. Section 1314(m)(1)(A). EPA originally established effluent limitations and guidelines for the steam electric generating industry in 1974 and last updated them in 1982. 47 Fed. Reg. 52,290 (Nov. 19, 1982).

Alternatives: To be determined.

Anticipated Costs and Benefits: To be determined.

Risks: To be determined.

Action Date FR Cite
NPRM  04/00/2013 
Final Rule  04/00/2014 
Additional Information: Docket #:EPA-HQ-OW-2009-0819
Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: Undetermined  Government Levels Affected: Undetermined 
Federalism: Undetermined 
Included in the Regulatory Plan: Yes 
RIN Information URL: http://water.epa.gov/scitech/wastetech/guide/steam_index.cfm  
Sectors Affected: 221112 Fossil Fuel Electric Power Generation; 221113 Nuclear Electric Power Generation 
RIN Data Printed in the FR: No 
Agency Contact:
Ronald Jordan
Environmental Protection Agency
Mail Code 4303T, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW.,
Washington, DC 20460
Phone:202 566-1003
Fax:202 566-1053
Email: jordan.ronald@epamail.epa.gov

Jezebele Alicea
Environmental Protection Agency
Mail Code 4303T, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW.,
Washington, DC 20460
Phone:202 566-1755
Fax:202 566-1053
Email: alicea.jezebele@epamail.epa.gov