Note: This information is provided for reference purposes only. Although the information provided here was accurate and current when first created, it is now outdated. All the links in the document have been removed.
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").
During the last quarter, EPA retained a new contractor with specialized
expertise in economic analysis to assist in the development of the §
316(b) regulation. As a result of delays associated with this transition
and input from the new contractor concerning the financial and economic
portions of the draft § 308 survey questionnaire referred to in the last
Quarterly Status Report, the preparation of the questionnaire has not
proceeded as quickly as EPA had hoped. EPA has completed the general and
technical information parts of the draft survey questionnaire; however,
the section of the questionnaire that seeks financial and economic data is
still under development.
In accordance with its usual practice, in November 1996 the Agency sent
the completed parts of the draft survey questionnaire, consisting of 97
pages, and the associated five page draft screener survey (also described
in the last Quarterly Status Report) to industry representatives for early
review. The Agency later sent the draft survey questionnaire and screener
survey to the Hudson Riverkeeper for his review. EPA asked the reviewers
to comment on the clarity and technical quality of the questions and
In the latter part of 1996, EPA met with industry representatives to
discuss the draft survey questionnaire and screener. The Agency has
received and is now considering the industry comments. EPA also has
scheduled a round table discussion for January 31, 1997 in Alexandria,
Virginia for environmental groups interested in § 316(b) data collection
issues. The meeting is intended to update environmental groups on the §
316(b) regulatory effort and to give them an opportunity to provide input
on the information they believe should be collected through the survey
questionnaire and screener survey.
This spring, the Agency intends to "pretest" the draft survey questionnaire and screener on a number of industry associations whose members together account for about 92% of the total cooling water intake in the United States. (The "pretest," which is generally required to obtain approval of the documents from the Office of Management and Budget, was described in the last Quarterly Status Report.) At the same time, the Agency will make the screener and survey questionnaire available for public comment by announcing their availability in the Federal Register.
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