An official website of the United States government.

This is not the current EPA website. To navigate to the current EPA website, please go to This website is historical material reflecting the EPA website as it existed on January 19, 2021. This website is no longer updated and links to external websites and some internal pages may not work. More information »

Effluent Guidelines

Steam Electric Power Generating Effluent Guidelines - Rule Reconsideration

EPA received multiple petitions for review challenging the 2015 Final Rule for the Steam Electric Power Generating Category. The petitions were consolidated in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit on December 8, 2015. The Agency later received petitions for administrative reconsideration of the final rule, in March and April 2017. EPA informed the petitioners that it will reconsider the rule. EPA also sent a letter to the states reminding them of flexibilities available to NPDES permitting authorities under the Final Rule. In light of the reconsideration, EPA has postponed impending deadlines as a temporary, stopgap measure to prevent the unnecessary expenditure of resources until it completes reconsideration of the 2015 rule.

The Administrator signed a letter on August 11, 2017 announcing his decision to conduct a rulemaking to potentially revise the new, more stringent BAT effluent limitations and pretreatment standards for existing sources in the 2015 rule that apply to bottom ash transport water and flue gas desulfurization (FGD) wastewater. As part of the rulemaking process, EPA will provide notice and an opportunity for public comment on any proposed revisions to the 2015 rule.

After reflecting on the time it typically takes the Agency to propose and finalize revised effluent limitations guidelines and standards, and in light of the characteristics of this industry and the anticipated scope of the next rulemaking, EPA projects that it will take approximately three years to propose and finalize a new rule (i.e., Fall 2020). Thus, EPA has finalized a rule postponing the earliest compliance dates for the BAT effluent limitations and PSES for bottom ash transport water and FGD wastewater in the 2015 Rule, from November 1, 2018 to November 1, 2020.