Rulemaking for the Steam Electric Power Generating Effluent Limitations Guidelines

Docket ID: EPA-HQ-OW-2009-0819
Agency: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

The 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 the EPA and states and through the national pretreatment program. The steam electric effluent limitations guidelines and standards 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. The rulemaking may address discharges associated with coal ash waste and flue gas desulfurization (FGD) air pollution controls, as well as other power plant waste streams. Power plant discharges can have major impacts on water quality, including reduced organism abundance and species diversity, contamination of drinking water sources, and contamination of fish. Pollutants of concern include metals (e.g., mercury, arsenic, and selenium), nutrients, and total dissolved solids.

RIN: 2040-AF14
Impacts and Effects: None
CFR Citation: 40 CFR 423 revision
Priority: Economically Significant
UA and Regulatory Plan Information open glossary dialog  
Publication Period: Fall 2015
Agenda Stage of Rulemaking: Completed Action
Major Rule: Yes
Legal Authorities: 33 U.S.C. 1311, 33 U.S.C. 1314, 33 U.S.C. 1316, 33 U.S.C. 1317, 33 U.S.C. 1318, 33 U.S.C. 1342, 33 U.S.C. 1361
Government Levels Affected: Federal, Local, State
Federalism Implications: Yes
Unfunded Mandates: No
Requires Regulatory Flexibility Analysis: No
Small Entities Affected: No
International Impacts: No
Energy Effects: No
Included in Regulatory Plan: No
Legal Deadline
JudicialOtherConsent Decree09/30/2015
ActionDateFR Citation
NPRM06/07/201378 FR 34431
NPRM Comment Period Extended07/12/201378 FR 41907
Final Rule11/03/201580 FR 67837
Final Rule Effective01/04/2016
Docket Details open glossary dialog  
Related RINs: None
Related Dockets: None
Type: Rulemaking
Location: HQ-OW

Primary Documents

View All  (5)
Comment Period Closed
Sep 20, 2013 11:59 PM ET
Proposed Rule
Posted: 06/07/2013
ID: EPA-HQ-OW-2009-0819-0068
Comment Period Closed
Apr 08, 2010 11:59 PM ET
Posted: 03/09/2010
ID: EPA-HQ-OW-2009-0819-0031
Comment Period Closed
Dec 28, 2009 11:59 PM ET
Posted: 10/29/2009
ID: EPA-HQ-OW-2009-0819-0001
Comments Not Accepted
Posted: 11/03/2015
ID: EPA-HQ-OW-2009-0819-5558
Comments Not Accepted
Proposed Rule
Posted: 07/12/2013
ID: EPA-HQ-OW-2009-0819-3132

Supporting Documents

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Comments Not Accepted
Supporting & Related Material
Posted: 06/02/2016
ID: EPA-HQ-OW-2009-0819-6477
Comments Not Accepted
Supporting & Related Material
Posted: 06/02/2016
ID: EPA-HQ-OW-2009-0819-6476
Comments Not Accepted
Supporting & Related Material
Posted: 04/11/2016
ID: EPA-HQ-OW-2009-0819-6475


View All  (3,334)

Comments Received*
Regulatory Timeline
Pre Rule
Current Stage
Proposed Rule
Current Stage
Final Rule
Current Stage
Current Stage
Agency Contact
Ronald Jordan
202 566-1003
202 566-1053 (Fax)
Mail Code 4303T, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW.
Washington, DC 20460
*This count refers to the total comment/submissions received on this docket, as of 11:59 PM yesterday. Note: Agencies review all submissions, however some agencies may choose to redact, or withhold, certain submissions (or portions thereof) such as those containing private or proprietary information, inappropriate language, or duplicate/near duplicate examples of a mass-mail campaign. This can result in discrepancies between this count and those displayed when conducting searches on the Public Submission document type. For specific information about an agency’s public submission policy, refer to its website or the Federal Register document.