EPA Action: New cooling water intake rule to offer 'greater protection' to marine life

The agency announced June 2 a final rule under the Clean Water Act that will provide increased protection to fish, shellfish and other aquatic life. It sets standards for cooling water intake structures at new oil and gas extraction facilities at offshore or coastal locations. The rule applies to about 124 new rigs, platforms expected to be built over next two decades that could require as much as 20 mgd of water to cool equipment...

Rule applies to about 124 new oil & gas rigs and platforms expected to be built over next two decades that could require as much as 20 mgd of water to cool equipment.

WASHINGTON, DC, June 6, 2006 -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced June 2 a final rule, established under the Clean Water Act, that will provide increased protection to fish, shellfish and other aquatic life. It sets standards for cooling water intake structures at new oil and gas extraction facilities either at offshore or coastal locations.

The rule applies to an estimated 124 new rigs and platforms expected to be built over the next two decades. These facilities could require as much as 20 million gallons of water a day to cool the equipment.

Derived from Section 316(b) of the Clean Water Act, this is the final action of a three-phase process that began by implementing requirements for new facilities, but did not include offshore or coastal oil and gas facilities. The second rule addressed existing power plants that use more than 50 million gallons of cooling water per day.

Cooling water intake structures at existing manufacturing facilities and certain power generators will continue to abide by section 316(b) requirements established on a case-by-case, best professional judgment basis through the water permitting program. The final rule does not change the regulatory requirements for facilities subject to the first and second regulations.

For more information on cooling water intake structure regulations, click here.

Among other agency headlines see:
-- "New Guidance Helps Small Drinking Water Systems Identify Affordable-Treatment Options"
-- "U.S. EPA announces 45-day public comment period for City of Los Angeles' biosolids injection permit"
-- "TRI Program Adopts Reporting by North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) Codes"
-- "EPA Administrator Johnson and Governor Taft celebrate start of Ashtabula River cleanup; $50 million project is Ohio's first under Legacy Act"
-- "EPA Negotiates Landmark International Pollution Agreement"
-- "EPA extends comment period for Chevron ground water cleanup plan"

To view all news releases related to water, click here.

To view all news releases from the EPA, click here.

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In earlier EPA Action reports: "EPA Action: Agency proposes new information collection initiative for manufacturers" -- Also in this report (June 1, 2006): Agency says permits not needed for water transfers; DWSRF tops $9 billion for infrastructure improvements; Tools will help small drinking water utilities monitor drinking water; EPA seeks public comment on underground storage tank draft grant guidelines; EPA to hold public hearing on proposed permit for salt water disposal well; New Hampshire conservationist awarded for career studying, protecting wetlands; EPA announces amended decision on Iowa's impaired waters list; Public meetings scheduled on New York City's filtration avoidance determination; Pacific SW drinking water systems ordered to complete vulnerability assessments; Proposed legislation seeks cleanup of abandoned mines; EPA proposes steep fines for companies that fail to curb polluted stormwater...

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