On July 23, 2018, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit decided the case of Cooling Water Intake Structure Coalition v. EPA. Environmental conservation groups and industry associations petitioned for review of a final rule promulgated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) pursuant to section 316(b) of the Clean Water Act (CWA), establishing requirements for cooling water intake structures at existing facilities. Denying the petitions for review, the Court of Appeals summarized:
“Because we conclude, among other things, that both the Rule and the biological opinion are based on reasonable interpretations of the applicable statutes and sufficiently supported by the factual record, and because the EPA 3 gave adequate notice of its rulemaking, we DENY the petitions for review.”
This is a significant CWA and Endangered Species Act (ESA) decision involving the operation of major industrial facilities requiring the daily use of large amounts of water taken from adjacent bodies of water.