Latest Posts

The Fifth Circuit recently granted EPA’s request to voluntarily remand the portion of the “Phase III” rule governing cooling water intake structures (CWIS) at existing non-utility facilities. The court also upheld the portion of the Phase III rule setting national categorical standards for CWIS at new offshore oil and gas facilities. The Fifth Circuit’s decision, ConocoPhillips Co. v. EPA, is the latest twist in a series of CWIS rulemakings stretching back over fifteen years, including review by the U.S. Supreme Court last term in Entergy Corp. v. Riverkeeper, Inc. The partial remand sets the stage for a new rule combining existing utility (Phase II) and non-utility (Phase III) facilities later this year.

The ruling also comes just two days after EPA announced plans to conduct a survey of what the public would be willing to pay to protect aquatic organisms from CWIS, a move intended to support a new cost-benefit analysis of EPA’s upcoming proposal. EPA is accepting comments on the proposed survey through September 20, 2010 [Federal Register: July 21, 2010 (Volume 75, Number 139)].

(MORE: Marten Law, 8/12/200)