After many years of consideration, the final §316(b) regulations for cooling water intake structures at power plants and industrial facilities have been issued by the Environmental Protection Agency. The regulations call for significant reductions in the levels of impingement mortality and entrainment for facilities that withdraw more than 2 MGD and use at least 25% of this water exclusively for cooling purposes. While the final rule provides greater compliance flexibility and clarifies several provisions, the §316(b) regulations will present a significant compliance challenge for the owners
and operators of power generating stations and other industries. The final rule provides two tracks to compliance for new power plants. For existing facilities, the rule defines seven (7) means of compliance with the impingement mortality standard and relies on a site-specific determination of Best Technology Available (BTA) to minimize entrainment impacts. Normandeau Associates is uniquely qualified to provide the depth of experience and scientific expertise to deliver high-quality, cost-effective §316(b) services, including the identification of BTA options that apply to your facility.
Did You Know?
Our biological laboratories can process over 10,000 ichthyoplankton, zooplankton, and benthic samples each year. Our biological laboratory services are provided by credentialed taxonomists working with state-of-the-art equipment housed in three labs with over 4,000 square feet of total workspace. Services include identifying, sorting and enumerating all types of biological samples from freshwater, estuarine, and marine environments nationwide. Learn more about our biological laboratory services.
A Recognized National Leader
As a highly respected and nationally recognized leader in environmental consulting, biological monitoring, impact analysis, technology evaluation, and environmental mitigation, Normandeau has performed more than 500 major intake and discharge studies for over 40 utility companies and industries throughout the United States, providing the experience and sound scientific expertise which have helped clients achieve regulatory compliance.
Many facilities not previously subject to requirements to evaluate impingement mortality and entrainment (IM&E) may need to act quickly to come into compliance now that the final §316(b) regulations have been issued. Many others may need to move quickly due to the NPDES permitting cycle. Several major utilities with a wide assortment of cooling water facilities have already contracted Normandeau to provide an assessment of potential impacts. Normandeau has regularly consulted for large and small cooling water users in both on-site collection of entrainment and impingement data, and the preparation of detailed impact estimations to provide our clients with options for the selection of appropriate technology to reduce IM&E impacts.
Data Quality and Laboratory Services
Normandeau has developed state-of-the art sampling methods and laboratory procedures to provide accurate impact data on proposed BTA. These methods have been used at several facilities and, in conjunction with Normandeau's recognized industry leadership in QA/QC, have provided utilities and industry with accurate data for demonstrating BTA with reductions in IM&E abundance.
The accurate laboratory identification of entrainment abundance samples is a critical component of compliance with the final §316(b) regulations. Normandeau operates three biological laboratories with credentialed taxonomists and over 4,000 square feet of work space. Our laboratories can process over 10,000 samples annually and provide identification, sorting, and enumeration of all types of biological samples from freshwater and marine environments. Our programs follow stringent QA/QC guidelines based on rigorous operating procedures as guided by state and federal sampling protocols.
We provide a broad-range of biological laboratory services to our clients that
- ichthyoplankton, zooplankton, and phytoplankton;
- freshwater, estuarine, and marine benthic macroinvertebrates, algae,
periphyton, and stomach content analysis; and
- fish age and growth.
You Deserve the Best Science
Regulatory decisions should be based on sound science and proper scientific judgment. Normandeau is the nation's largest and most experienced science-based environmental consulting firm providing §316(b) services. While many firms claim to have capability, Normandeau has proven it. We can deploy field crews to multiple locations simultaneously and have dozens of scientist available to manage projects and provide the level of scientific analysis that you need and few can offer. Normandeau has the largest specialized laboratory facilities for processing freshwater and marine entrainment samples. We have field offices throughout the country and can quickly mobilize to meet I&E sampling needs in any part of the country. Our staff have conducted biological studies and assisted in obtaining permits in almost every major watershed in the U.S. including most of the nation's coastlines, major rivers and estuaries with energy generation facilities. Our highly respected scientists also have extensive experience serving as peer reviewers and expert witnesses. Please contact us today so that we may assist you.