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OCTOBER 10, 1997

Cronin, et al. v. Browner

U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York

No. 93 Civ. 0314 (AGS)

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").

On September 18, 1997, EPA published a notice in the Federal Register announcing that the draft cooling water intake structure screener survey is available for public comment. 62 Fed. Reg. 49007. The Federal Register notice also states that EPA is developing an Information Collection Request to seek authorization from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to administer the screener survey. The public comment period on the draft screener survey ends on November 17, 1997. As discussed in past status reports, EPA is administering a "pretest" of the screener survey. The pretest also will end on November 17, 1997. After EPA considers the public comments it receives on the draft screener survey and evaluates the results of the "pretest," the Agency will submit the screener survey to OMB for review and approval, and will publish another notice in the Federal Register announcing its submission to OMB.

Currently, EPA is focusing its efforts in this regulatory proceeding on completing the draft detailed survey questionnaire. As discussed in past status reports, EPA is preparing multiple versions of the survey questionnaire for use on different types of facilities. EPA intends to administer the detailed survey questionnaire on a statistically valid, representative sample of facilities, including a subset of the facilities that received the screener questionnaire. In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act, 44 U.S.C. 3501, et seq., EPA will follow the same notification procedures for the draft survey questionnaire as it is using for the draft screener survey.

During the last quarter, EPA has continued to refine the "sample frames" for the categories of facilities that will receive the screener survey and survey questionnaire. The Agency also has continued to collect and analyze data to determine what is an "adverse environmental impact" and what is the "best technology available" to minimize such impacts under 316(b). These activities have been described in prior status reports.

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 Decree.

James F. Pendergast