Power Plant Cooling Water and Clean Water Act Section 316(b)

Fact Sheet
May 05, 2011

The Need to Modernize U.S. Power Plants and Protect our Water Resources

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is in the process of issuing standards for the use of cooling water at existing U.S. power plants. A draft rule was issued on March 28, 2011. A final rule will be issued by July 27, 2012. The country is long overdue for a clear, consistent national policy that protects waterways and helps move the nation toward cleaner, more modern and more efficient energy production by phasing out the environmentally destructive once-through cooling systems. Without national standards, the EPA remains in violation of the Clean Water Act (CWA) and states continue to lack the political will, resources, and clout to impose use of better technologies on the power industry.