EPA Extends Comment Period for the Preliminary 2006 Effluent Guidelines Program Plan

EPA announced in an Oct. 26 Federal Register that it is extending the comment period for the agency's completed 2005 annual review and pending 2006 annual reviews of existing effluent limitations guidelines and pretreatment standards under the Clean Water Act (CWA) sections 301(d), 304(b), 304(g), and 307(b), and the Preliminary 2006 Effluent Guidelines Program Plan under CWA section 304(m).

EPA is also extending a second comment period on the draft Strategy for National Clean Water Industrial Regulations (67 FR 71165; Nov. 29, 2002). In response to requests from several stakeholders, this agency extended both comment periods for 30 days.

On Aug. 29, EPA solicited comment on the agency's completed 2005 annual review and pending 2006 annual reviews of existing effluent limitations guidelines and pretreatment standards under CWA sections 301(d), 304(b), 304(g) and 307(b), and the Preliminary 2006 Effluent Guidelines Program Plan under CWA section 304(m). EPA also opened a second comment period on the draft Strategy for National Clean Water Industrial Regulations.

The notice described:

  • The agency's 2005 annual review of existing effluent limitations guidelines and pretreatment standards under CWA sections 301(d), 304(b), 304(g) and 307(b)
  • EPA's review of indirect dischargers without categorical pretreatment standards to identify potential new categories for pretreatment standards under CWA sections 304(g) and 307(b).
  • The preliminary 2006 effluent guidelines program plan under CWA section 304(m)("plan"). EPA anticipates completing the final 2006 plan by August 2006. As required by CWA section 304(m), the final plan will:
    • Present a schedule for EPA's annual review of existing effluent guidelines under CWA section 304(b) and a schedule for any effluent guidelines revisions.
    • Identify industries for which EPA has not promulgated effluent guidelines but may decide to do so through rulemaking and a schedule for these rulemakings.

The original comment deadline was Oct. 28. Numerous stakeholders have requested an extension to the comment period in order to adequately understand and provide comments. Additionally, one commenter requested more time due to the difficulty of coordinating with Gulf Coast facilities that were recently incapacitated by hurricanes Rita and Katrina.

Comments should be submitted by Nov. 28. Additional information can be found at http://www.epa.gov/waterscience/guide/plan.html.

This article originally appeared in the 10/01/2005 issue of Environmental Protection.

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