United States
Phase I—New Facilities

Final Rule, Fact Sheet
EPA 821 -F-01 -01 7, November 2001

On November 9, 2001  EPA established location, design, construction and capacity standards for cooling
water intake structures at new facilities. This final regulation will protect fish, shellfish and other forms
of aquatic life from being killed or injured by cooling water intake structures. The rule sets standards
but provides flexibility to demonstrate comparable performance.

Section 31 6(b) of the Clean Water Act requires  EPA to ensure that the location, design, construction and
capacity of  cooling water intake structures reflect the best technology available for minimizing adverse
environmental impact. For many years this provision has been implemented without federal standards in
place, on a  resource-intensive, site-by-site basis. Following settlement of a lawsuit, EPA is now
developing  national  standards in three phases: Phase I for new facilities, Phase II for existing electric
generating  plants that use large amounts of cooling water, and Phase III for electric generating plants
using smaller amounts of cooling water and for manufacturers.

Scope of the Final Rule
This rule applies to new electric generating plants and manufacturers that withdraw more than two
million gallons per day (MGD) from waters of the U.S., if they use 25% or more of their intake water for
cooling. New facilities with smaller cooling water intakes will still be regulated on a site-by-site basis.

Summary of Requirements
For facilities who choose certainty and fast permitting over greater flexibility, the rule sets standards to
limit intake capacity and velocity. Facilities who locate where fisheries need additional protection must
use special  screens,  nets or similar devices. Facilities withdrawing less than 10 MGD are not required to
reduce intake capacity, but must use special screens, nets or similar devices  if they do not. For facilities
who choose to perform site-specific  studies, the rule sets a framework for demonstrating that
alternative approaches provide comparable protection. All facilities must limit their withdrawals to no
more than a defined proportion of their source waterbody.

Impacts and Benefits
The rule is projected to affect 1 21  facilities to be built over the next 20 years at a total cost of less than
$48  million per year. Benefits include a dramatic reduction in mortality or injury of aquatic life at some
new facilities and more modest reductions at others.

Additional Information and Copies
For further details regarding this final new facility rule or any other phase of this rulemaking, refer
to h11p: / /www, e pa, g ov /wate rsc: i e n ce / 31 6 b /.