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Pursuant to paragraph 3(a) of the Consent Decree in the
above-referenced matter, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency ("EPA"
or "the Agency") provides this Quarterly Status Report concerning its
actions to propose and take final action with respect to regulations under
§ 316(b) of the Clean Water Act ("CWA").
As the Agency has explained in previous status reports, EPA is preparing a screener survey and detailed survey questionnaire under § 308 of the CWA for use in this regulatory proceeding. During the last quarter, the Agency and contractor personnel who are responsible for preparing the screener survey and the survey questionnaire have continued to revise those two documents as a result of comments received from within and outside the Agency. Late last year, EPA sent the screener survey and the technical portions of the survey questionnaire to representatives of industry and environmental groups for comment. The screener survey is now undergoing final review within EPA prior to the pretest (described in the January 10, 1997 Quarterly Status Report) and publication in the Federal Register.
As stated in the last Quarterly Status Report, EPA has retained a new
contractor with specialized expertise in economic analysis to assist in
the development of the § 316(b) regulation. With the assistance of the new
contractor, EPA has made significant progress since January 1997 in
developing the economic portions of the survey questionnaire. The Agency
is currently preparing five different versions of the economic portions of
the survey questionnaire to cover the utility industry and two different
versions to cover nonutility facilities that utilize cooling water intake
structures. These multiple versions reflect the diversity of the subject
facilities from an economic standpoint. The Agency has completed the first
draft of all five versions of the utility economic questionnaire and the
first draft of one of the nonutility economic questionnaires. In February,
the Agency circulated one of the draft utility economic questionnaires and
one of the draft nonutility economic questionnaires to industry
representatives for comment. EPA is currently working to revise the
various economic questionnaires.
In addition to working on the screener survey and detailed survey
questionnaire, EPA has continued to develop "sample frames" for the
categories of facilities that will receive the screener survey and the
survey questionnaire. A "sample frame" identifies all the individual
facilities within a category, across the United States. EPA is currently
analyzing databases that might be used to complete the "sample frames."
The undersigned, James F. Pendergast, is acting Director of the Permits
Division of EPA's Office of Wastewater Management. The Permits Division
has primary responsibility for discharging EPA's duties under the Consent
James F. Pendergast