EPA cooling water rules

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced a delayed release, likely until at least March 18, of its cooling water intake rule. The rule would apply to existing coal-fired and nuclear power plants that withdraw more than two million gallons/day.

EPA has agreed to propose a new cooling water intake rule consistent with Section 316b of The Clean Water Act March 14 and to finalize the rule in July 2012. But the agency said that parties involved have agreed to an extension for releasing the proposed rule.

The cooling water rule could be released on March 18, the EPA said. That could, however, be delayed a couple of weeks should Congress agree to another temporary "continuing resolution" to keep the federal budget funded through the end of the month, the agency said.

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