Boilers, Nuclear

EPA Stays ELG Rule Under Clean Water Act

By Editors of Power Engineering

The EPA announced it will stay and reconsider future deadlines of a 2015 rule that set new effluent limitations guidelines and standards for steam electric power plants under the Clean Water Act.

The 2015 rules were set to become effective November 1, 2018, though the National Law Review indicated the future of the rule is now unclear.

The EPA’s rule was set to regulate six types of waste streams and set stricter limits for pollutants, including a zero-discharge requirement for some waste streams. The rule was to apply to boilers in coal, oil, gas or nuclear plants with a capacity of over 50 MW.

National Law Review estimated compliance costs would have been $480 million per year. Legal challenges to the rule from the Utility Water Action Group and the U.S. Small Business Administration are now pending at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. The EPA has filed a motion to stay pending litigation until September 12, by which time the agency will announce which parts of the rule, if any, it seeks to have remanded to the court for further rulemaking.