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Complying with the EPA’s Effluent Limitation Guidelines for the Power Plant Industry

Jul 13, 2016 | Archive, Compliance

On September 30, 2015, the EPA published the first update to the Steam Electric Power Plant Generating Effluent Limitation Guidelines (ELG) in 33 years. The biggest changes from the previous rule will be dry handling and zero discharge rules for certain wastewater streams and new numerical effluent guidelines for other waste streams. These changes predominantly affect the coal-fired and integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC) power plant facilities. The numerical guidelines for mercury (Hg), arsenic (As), and selenium (Se) in flue gas desulfurization (FGD) and IGCC wastewaters affect both existing and new sources, which in many cases will require significant upgrades and/or new wastewater treatment facilities to meet the new limits.

Below is a table that shows a sampling of the new ELGs* for various wastewaters and leachates. More details can be found here.

As facilities and their consultants develop an implementation strategy for compliance with the new rules, one of the key components is knowing what is in the wastewater before it can effectively be treated to remove these hazardous metals. Relying on total metals concentrations is not enough and careful examination of the speciation of each element of concern is crucial, particularly for selenium which can be problematic to treat down to low-ppb levels. Brooks Applied Labs is the industry leader in elemental speciation analyses with decades of experience working with FGD wastewaters, so please Contact Us today to learn more about our services and ask about our expedited turn-around times for your rush projects.