The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has officially released their Effluent Guidelines Program Plan 15 (Plan 15), which lays out how the Agency will work to protect the nation’s waterways by following the science and the Clean Water Act to develop technology-based pollution limits and studies on wastewater discharges from industrial sources, according to NatLawReview.
“For 50 years, EPA has implemented the Clean Water Act to protect our nation’s waters that are essential to healthy communities. This Effluent Guidelines Program Plan represents a critical next step to tackle pollutants like PFAS and nutrients at the source, before they can harm our health and the environment,” Assistant Administrator for Water Radhika Fox stated. “With this action, EPA continues to demonstrate our commitment to using the best available data and treatment technologies to reduce harmful industrial pollutants.”
EPA is also announcing several new and expanded studies as part of the action, which includes:
- an expansion of the ongoing study of PFAS discharges from textile manufacturers;
- a new study of publicly owned treatment works (POTW) influents to characterize the PFAS concentrations from industrial dischargers to POTWs and inform implementation of pretreatment programs to address them; and
- a new study on concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) to make an informed, reasoned decision on whether to undertake rulemaking to revise the ELGs for CAFOs.