The steam electric effluent guidelines apply to steam electric power plants using nuclear or fossil fuels, such as coal, oil and natural gas. In a study completed in 2009, EPA concluded that the current regulations, which were last updated in 1982, do not adequately address the pollutants being discharged and have not kept pace with changes that have occurred in the electric power industry. EPA has indicated that the rulemaking will address discharges from ash ponds and flue gas desulfurization (FGD) air pollution controls, as well as other power plant waste streams. Pollutants of concern include metals (e.g., mercury, arsenic and selenium), nutrients, and total dissolved solids. Timeline
The effort to review and revise the Steam Electric Effluent Limitations Guidelines began on December 2009, and EPA currently projects that the amended rules will be finalized in July 2012.
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