Comment Period Extended for 2010 Final Effluent Guidelines Plan and 2011 Effluent Guidelines Reviews

(Editorial Note: Effluent Guidelines are technology-based requirements applicable to various industrial categories that are expressed through NPDES permits for point sources discharges. As such, they’re an important Clean Water Act tool for protecting sources of drinking water.)

On October 20, 2011, EPA published its final 2010 Effluent Guidelines Program Plan, as required by the Clean Water Act, which identified new or existing industrial dischargers selected for effluent guidelines rulemaking and provided a schedule for such rulemakings. The notice also solicited data and information for the EPA’s 2011 Effluent Guidelines Program Reviews. The 2010 Plan includes a schedule to develop standards for wastewater discharges produced by natural gas extraction from underground coal-bed and shale formations.

The Agency solicited comments from the public on the 2010 Plan and data and information for the 2011 Reviews for 30 days (to have been submitted on or before November 25, 2011). The Agency received several requests for additional time to submit comments. These extension requests were submitted within days of the close of the comment period, thus EPA was not able to grant an extension before the comment period closed. EPA has therefore re-opened the comment period and will accept public comments on the Plan and data and information for the 2011 reviews, for an additional 60-day period upon publication of the notice, or from December 27, 2011, in the Federal Register.

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