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Title: The clean water act -- (Federal Water Pollution Control Act), what it means to utilities

Abstract

Departing from previous policy, in August 1993 the USEPA`s Water Office recommended that the agency regulate a proposed electric power plant`s cooling pond as a water of the US. At issue was a proposal by Florida Power corp. to build a new electric power plant in Polk County, Florida. A 2,600 acre cooling pond to collect heated and discharged water was included in the proposal. Region 4 USEPA staff asked USEPA Headquarters in Washington, DC to decide whether the pond was exempt from the CWA or a water of the US. The pond could be a habitat for migratory birds according to a memo prepared by Region 4 staff. The USEPA Water Office used the presence of migratory birds to claim a nexus to interstate commerce and therefore concluded that the pond should be regulated under the CWA. Electric power industry proponents have argued that an overly expansive definition of waters of the US may result in any new power plant being required to construct cooling towers. Cooling towers are said to be a more expensive and wasteful method to cool heated water. Region 4 ultimately recanted its earlier position after considerable discussions with various other Environmental Protection Agency officesmore » and, no doubt industry pressure. Florida Power Corp. was not required to obtain an NPDES permit for the cooling pond. The lesson of Florida Power Corp. is that the regulatory environment for utilities can be uncertain under the Clean Water Act even in the face of a relatively straightforward exemption from regulation.« less

Authors:
 [1]
  1. Howard and Howard Attorneys, Bloomfield Hills, MI (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
376110
Report Number(s):
CONF-960426-
Journal ID: ISSN 0097-2126; TRN: IM9642%%198
Resource Type:
Conference
Resource Relation:
Conference: 58. annual meeting of the American power conference, Chicago, IL (United States), 9-11 Apr 1996; Other Information: PBD: 1996; Related Information: Is Part Of Proceedings of the American Power Conference. Volume 58-I; McBride, A.E. [ed.]; PB: 767 p.
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
20 FOSSIL-FUELED POWER PLANTS; CLEAN WATER ACTS; TECHNOLOGY IMPACTS; OPEN-CYCLE COOLING SYSTEMS; THERMAL POWER PLANTS; COOLING PONDS; US EPA

Citation Formats

Talt, L A. The clean water act -- (Federal Water Pollution Control Act), what it means to utilities. United States: N. p., 1996. Web.
Talt, L A. The clean water act -- (Federal Water Pollution Control Act), what it means to utilities. United States.
Talt, L A. 1996. "The clean water act -- (Federal Water Pollution Control Act), what it means to utilities". United States.
@article{osti_376110,
title = {The clean water act -- (Federal Water Pollution Control Act), what it means to utilities},
author = {Talt, L A},
abstractNote = {Departing from previous policy, in August 1993 the USEPA`s Water Office recommended that the agency regulate a proposed electric power plant`s cooling pond as a water of the US. At issue was a proposal by Florida Power corp. to build a new electric power plant in Polk County, Florida. A 2,600 acre cooling pond to collect heated and discharged water was included in the proposal. Region 4 USEPA staff asked USEPA Headquarters in Washington, DC to decide whether the pond was exempt from the CWA or a water of the US. The pond could be a habitat for migratory birds according to a memo prepared by Region 4 staff. The USEPA Water Office used the presence of migratory birds to claim a nexus to interstate commerce and therefore concluded that the pond should be regulated under the CWA. Electric power industry proponents have argued that an overly expansive definition of waters of the US may result in any new power plant being required to construct cooling towers. Cooling towers are said to be a more expensive and wasteful method to cool heated water. Region 4 ultimately recanted its earlier position after considerable discussions with various other Environmental Protection Agency offices and, no doubt industry pressure. Florida Power Corp. was not required to obtain an NPDES permit for the cooling pond. The lesson of Florida Power Corp. is that the regulatory environment for utilities can be uncertain under the Clean Water Act even in the face of a relatively straightforward exemption from regulation.},
doi = {},
url = {https://www.osti.gov/biblio/376110}, journal = {},
issn = {0097-2126},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {1996},
month = {10}
}

Conference:
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