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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").
During the past quarter, EPA has continued to develop a screener survey
and detailed survey questionnaire under § 308 of the CWA for use in this
regulatory proceeding. EPA has finished preparing a draft screener survey
for notice in the Federal Register pursuant to the Paperwork
Reduction Act, 44 U.S.C. § 3501, et seq. The Federal
Register notice will announce that EPA is developing an Information
Collection Request (ICR) to seek authorization from the Office of
Management and Budget (OMB) to administer the screener survey. The notice
also will announce the commencement of a 60 day period for public comment
on the draft screener survey. At the time of the Federal Register
notice, the Agency also intends to administer a "pretest" of the screener
survey on a number of industry associations, as described in the January
10, 1997 Quarterly Status Report. After EPA considers the public comments
it receives, the Agency will submit the screener survey to OMB for review
and approval, and will publish another notice in the Federal
Register announcing submission of the screener to OMB.
Agency and contractor personnel who are responsible for preparing the
detailed survey questionnaire continue to revise that document. In the
last Quarterly Status Report, EPA reported that it is developing five
different versions of the economic portion of the survey questionnaire to
cover the utility industry and two different versions to cover nonutility
facilities that utilize cooling water intake structures. EPA has prepared
a master economic survey covering the utility industry that will serve as
a template for the five versions of the economic portion of the survey.
These five versions will vary based on the accessibility of publicly
available information for different types of utilities. EPA does not
intend to include questions that seek publicly available information on
the economic portions of the survey questionnaire. EPA is continuing to
refine the two nonutility portions of the economic part of the survey.
EPA also has continued to develop "sample frames" for the categories of facilities that will receive the screener survey and the survey questionnaire. As described in the last Quarterly Report, a "sample frame" identifies all the individual facilities within a category, across the United States. EPA has selected the data bases that it intends to use for the utility "sample frame" and the "sample frame" covering non-utility generators of electricity. EPA is
continuing to analyze databases that might be used to complete the
manufacturing industry (i.e., non-electric generation) "sample
In addition to the survey and "sample frame" development, EPA continues
to allocate time to collecting and analyzing data to determine what is an
"adverse environmental impact" and what is the "best technology available"
to minimize such impacts under § 316(b). For example, in April 1997, EPA
conducted site visits of four Florida Power and Light steam electric
facilities to evaluate current intake structure technologies. EPA also
visited sites in Wisconsin and Illinois in June and early July. During the
last quarter, Agency and contractor personnel who are working on "adverse
environmental impact" issues held several meetings to frame a preliminary
approach to defining "adverse environmental impacts." The Agency has
recently created a new workgroup to address environmental benefits.
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