The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has published its proposed Effluent Guidelines Program Plan for 2002-2003, the last such plan the agency will issue under a 1992 consent decree with the Natural Resources Defense Council (New York) and Public Citizen Inc. (Washington, D.C.).
The decree established a schedule under which EPA must propose and take action on effluent guidelines for several point source categories as well as undertake studies of several other point source categories.
The June 18 proposal identifies the categories for which the agency expects to develop or revise effluent limitations guidelines and standards through June 2004, the end of the period covered by the consent decree. The proposal calls for EPA to develop or complete guidelines for concentrated animal feeding operations and several industry categories, including metal products and machinery; meat products; construction and development; aquatic animal production; and pulp, paper and paperboard manufacturing.
The agency said it is preparing a draft strategy for reviewing national effluent guidelines and setting priorities for future regulation once the consent decree's requirements have been met. Comments on the proposed final program plan are due by July 18. The proposal and various supporting documents are posted at www.epa.gov/waterscience/guide/plan.html.