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New Effluent Limitations for Coal-fired Steam Electric Power Plants

Posted on 9/30/2015 by Roger Marks

On September 30, 2015, US EPA finalized a new Rule aimed at reducing the volume of toxic metals and other pollutants that enter US waterways. The rule, called the Effluent Limitations Guidelines and Standards for the Steam Electric Power Generating Point Source Category, was initially proposed in June 2013. 

The Final Rule adds or sets new Clean Water Act requirements for wastewater streams from the following processes and by-products:
  • Flue gas desulfurization
  • Fly ash
  • Bottom ash
  • Flue gas mercury control
  • Gasification of fuels such as coal and petroleum coke
In addition to lowering the effluent thresholds for arsenic, mercury, selenium, and nitrogen, the Final Rule will require certain coal-fired steam electric power plants to install new technologies that reduce discharge of toxic metals and other pollutants.  

coal fired power plant


The Rule will also set more stringent controls for the construction of any new coal or petroleum coke plants. Facilities have until the end of 2023 to achieve compliance with the new standards.

A prepublication version of the rule is available here.

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Tags: Clean Water Act, EPA, new rules, NPDES

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