Impacts of TMDLs on coal-fired power plants.

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The Clean Water Act (CWA) includes as one of its goals restoration and maintenance of the chemical, physical, and biological integrity of the Nation's waters. The CWA established various programs to accomplish that goal. Among the programs is a requirement for states to establish water quality standards that will allow protection of the designated uses assigned to each water body. Once those standards are set, state agencies must sample the water bodies to determine if water quality requirements are being met. For those water bodies that are not achieving the desired water quality, the state agencies are expected to develop ... continued below

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Veil, J. A. & Division, Environmental Science April 30, 2010.

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The Clean Water Act (CWA) includes as one of its goals restoration and maintenance of the chemical, physical, and biological integrity of the Nation's waters. The CWA established various programs to accomplish that goal. Among the programs is a requirement for states to establish water quality standards that will allow protection of the designated uses assigned to each water body. Once those standards are set, state agencies must sample the water bodies to determine if water quality requirements are being met. For those water bodies that are not achieving the desired water quality, the state agencies are expected to develop total maximum daily loads (TMDLs) that outline the maximum amount of each pollutant that can be discharged to the water body and still maintain acceptable water quality. The total load is then allocated to the existing point and nonpoint sources, with some allocation held in reserve as a margin of safety. Many states have already developed and implemented TMDLs for individual water bodies or regional areas. New and revised TMDLs are anticipated, however, as federal and state regulators continue their examination of water quality across the United States and the need for new or revised standards. This report was funded by the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE's) National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) Existing Plants Research Program, which has an energy-water research effort that focuses on water use at power plants. This study complements its overall research effort by evaluating water issues that could impact power plants. One of the program missions of the DOE's NETL is to develop innovative environmental control technologies that will enable full use of the Nation's vast coal reserves, while at the same time allowing the current fleet of coal-fired power plants to comply with existing and emerging environmental regulations. Some of the parameters for which TMDLs are being developed are components in discharges from coal-fired power plants. If a state establishes a new or revised TMDL for one of these pollutants in a water body where a power plant is located, the next renewal of the power plant's National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit is likely to include more restrictive limits. Power generators may need to modify existing operational and wastewater treatment technologies or employ new ones as TMDLs are revised or new ones are established. The extent to which coal-fired power plants may be impacted by revised and new TMDL development has not been well established. NETL asked Argonne to evaluate how current and potential future TMDLs might influence coal-fired power plant operations and discharges. This information can be used to inform future technology research funded by NETL. The scope of investigation was limited to several eastern U.S. river basins rather than providing a detailed national perspective.

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  • Report No.: DOE/NETL-2010/1408
  • Grant Number: DE-AC02-06CH11357
  • DOI: 10.2172/979557 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 979557
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc931908

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  • April 30, 2010

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Nov. 13, 2016, 7:26 p.m.

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  • Feb. 16, 2017, 4:33 p.m.

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Veil, J. A. & Division, Environmental Science. Impacts of TMDLs on coal-fired power plants., report, April 30, 2010; United States. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc931908/: accessed November 18, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.