Requests for data due Dec. 27 on Phase III 316(b) proposal feedback

The EPA has issued a notice of data availability regarding public comments on proposed changes to regulations to establish NPDES and other requirements for cooling water intake structures at Phase III facilities under section 316(b) of the Clean Water Act (CWA). Comments on this notice of data availability must be received or postmarked on or before midnight Dec. 27...

WASHINGTON, DC, Nov. 29, 2005 -- On Nov. 24, 2004, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency published proposed regulations to establish requirements for cooling water intake structures at Phase III facilities under section 316(b) of the Clean Water Act (CWA). This rule governs National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) regulations to establish requirements for cooling water intake structures. The agency proposed the following three options for defining which existing facilities would be subject to uniform national requirements, based on the facility's design intake flow threshold and source waterbody type:
• The facility has a total design intake flow of 50 million gallons per day (MGD) or more, and withdraws from any waterbody;
• The facility has a total design intake flow of 200 MGD or more, and withdraws from any waterbody; or
• The facility has a total design intake flow of 100 MGD or more and withdraws specifically from an ocean, estuary, tidal river, or one of the Great Lakes.

The proposed rule would also establish national section 316(b) requirements for new offshore oil and gas extraction facilities. This notice of data availability (NODA) summarizes significant data The EPA received or collected since publication of the proposed rule and discusses how agency may use this data in revising its analyses. It solicits public comment on the information presented in this notice and the record supporting this notice.

Comments on this notice of data availability must be received or postmarked on or before midnight Dec. 27, 2005.

Comments may be submitted by mail addressed to Water Docket, Environmental Protection Agency, Mailcode: 4101T, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW., Washington, DC, 20460, Attention Docket ID No OW-2004-0002. Comments may also be submitted electronically, or by hand delivery. Follow the detailed instructions as provided in Section B.1 of the Supplementary Information section to file comments electronically.

For additional technical information, visit the Federal Register posting on this topic at http://epa.gov/EPA-WATER/2005/November/Day-25/ -- or contact Paul Shriner at 202-566-1076. For additional economic information contact Erik Helm at 202-566-1066. For additional biological information contact Ashley Allen at 202-566-1012. The email address for the above contacts is rule.316b@epa.gov.

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