22. September 2014
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has released its preliminary 2014 effluent guidelines program, and wastewater from the metal finishing industry is just one of the areas that will be subject to more regulation in the upcoming year.
Wastewater runoff from the oil and gas production, petroleum refining and nanomaterial industries are also on the 2014 EPA agenda. The EPA will seek information from industries that may need either revised existing regulations or new regulations.
The EPA does not currently regulate wastewater discharges from nanomaterial manufacturing facilities. The agency also wants to find out more about discharges from centralized treatment facilities that accepts wastewater from hydraulic fracturing and other oil and gas extraction activities.
With a new look at the metal finishing industry, the EPA says it wants to gather more data about metal discharges, and in particular those performing zinc and cadmium plating.
The Clean Water Act requires EPA to publish every two years a schedule for reviewing and possibly revising effluent guidelines that have been promulgated as required by Section 304(b).
Under Section 304(b) of the Clean Water Act, the EPA regulates the discharge of pollutants from industries directly to surface waters through effluent limitation guidelines, and indirect discharges via wastewater treatments plants through pretreatment standards. Both regulatory limits are based on available technology.
The EPA published its notice announcing the preliminary FY 2014 plan on Sept. 16. The agency will accept comments, identified by Docket No. EPA-HQ-OW-2014-0170, at http://regulations.gov/ until Nov. 17.