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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").
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