EPA Unveils Effluent Guidance Rulemaking Plan for 2008

EPA recently released the "Preliminary 2008 Effluent Guidelines Program Plan," which identifies any new or existing industrial categories selected for effluent guidelines rulemaking and provides a rulemaking schedule.

The agency also issued its 2007 review of existing effluent guidelines and pretreatment standards. The Clean Water Act requires EPA to annually review regulations for industrial discharges into waterways or to publicly owned treatment works (POTWs).

An Oct. 30 Federal Register notice presents the current status of studies identified in the agency's 2006 annual review of the steam, electric power generating, coal mining, coalbed methane and health services industries that EPA will use to decide whether to identify any of these categories for effluent guidelines rulemaking.

The notice also presents an update on two preliminary industry reviews identified in the agency's 2006 plan. Because the textile mills industry did not rank among the top toxic pollutant dischargers in the 2007 review, EPA will not pursue further action for this industry. Due to a lack of data, EPA will continue its review of the ore mining and dressing industry, officials said. EPA also is starting reviews for centralized waste treatment and waste combustor industries.

The Oct. 30 Federal Register notice can be accessed at http://www.epa.gov/fedrgstr/EPA-WATER/2007/October/Day-30/w21310.htm. Comments on EPA's plan are due by Dec. 31.

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