On September 30, 2015, the EPA finalized a revision to its wastewater effluent standards for power plants.  The new regulation (which takes effect sixty days after Federal Registerpublication of the revision) updates a 1982 standard for power plant wastewater discharges.

The new standard exempts oil fired power plants or facilities that are smaller than 50 megawatts.  The new standard imposes effluent limitations for discharges of lead, arsenic, mercury and selenium. 

The EPA estimates that the updated regulation will result in a reduction in toxic pollutants of 1.4 billion pounds per year.  The EPA also estimates that 134 power plants will have to make pollution control investments to come into compliance with this standard.

Any new power plants will be required to comply with this revised standard and applicable state water quality standards for the receiving stream for the wastewater discharge.  Existing facilities will likely have their permits amended upon permit renewal.  Click here for further information.