EPA Issues New Water Pollution Control Regulations
WASHINGTON (AP) _ The government is issuing new regulations it says will dramatically reduce water pollution caused by discharges of wastes from the organic chemical, plastic and synthetic-fiber industries.
The Environmental Protection Agency said the regulations announced Monday could halt the annual discharge of 23.6 million pounds of toxic pollutants and 108 million pounds of so-called conventional pollutants.
″The new regulation, which sets discharge limits on 66 pollutants, is one of the most ambitious and important water pollution-control regulations ever issued by EPA,″ EPA Assistant Administrator Lawrence J. Jensen said in a statement.
The EPA said the standards could force the closure of up to 61 plants in the three industries and affect profits and sales at another 82 plants.
The standards require the affected industries to use the ″best practicable control technology″ for some types of pollution, and the more stringent ″best available control technology economically achievable″ for other types of pollution.
The rules also set new standards for pollutants discharged into publicly owned sewage-treatment systems.
The industries affected by the new rules produce more than 25,000 different products and include about 1,000 plants, employing about 183,000 workers and shipping goods worth about $59 billion.
Products manufacturered or processed by the affected industries include crude oil, coal, benzene and natural gas. Also, dyes, organic pigments and industrial chemicals; plastics; synthetic resins and organic fibers, and man- made cellulosic fibers used in such finished products as rugs and fabrics.