The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) has released Preliminary Effluent Guidelines Program Plan 15 (Preliminary Plan 15), which identifies opportunities to better protect public health and the environment through the regulation of wastewater pollution. Preliminary Plan 15 includes three new rulemakings to reduce contaminants including PFAS and nutrients from key industries.
The USEPA will initiate the three new rulemakings after concluding several studies that were discussed in Effluent Guidelines Program Plan 14. The USEPA has determined that revised effluent limitations guidelines (ELGs) and pretreatment standards are warranted for:
- Organic Chemicals, Plastics and Synthetic Fibers category to address per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) discharges from facilities manufacturing PFAS.
- Metal Finishing category to address PFAS discharges from chromium electroplating facilities.
- Meat and Poultry Products category to address nutrient discharges.
The Preliminary Effluent Guidelines Program Plans are prepared by the USEPA pursuant to the Clean Water Act (CWA) Section 304(m). Preliminary plans provide a description of USEPA’s annual review of ELGs and pretreatment standards, consistent with the CWA. Based on these reviews, the USEPA develops preliminary plans to identify any new or existing industrial categories selected for ELG or pretreatment standards rulemakings and to provide a schedule for such rulemakings.
Comments are being accepted on Preliminary Plan 15 through Thursday October 14, 2021.