Facilitating Clean Water Act 316(b) Rule-Required Peer Review of 122.21(r) Reports

Thursday, August 25, 2016: 2:00 PM
Chouteau A (Sheraton at Crown Center)
Radhika de Silva , HDR, Plymouth Meeting, PA
John Burnett , HDR, Park City, UT
Mark Bailey , HDR, Plymouth Meeting, PA
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s 2014 §316(b) Rule requires external peer review of the following reports:
  • §122.21(r)(10) Comprehensive Technical Feasibility and Cost Evaluation Study

  • §122.21(r)(11) Benefits Valuation Study

  • §122.21(r)(12) Non-water Quality Environmental and Other Impacts Assessment

    Peer Review by experts in fisheries biology, engineering and economics is expected to relieve the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Permit Director of some of the burden of evaluating reports with diverse subjects prior to making a best technology available determination for entrainment reduction at facilities with actual intake flow rates of 125 million gallons per day or more. As such, the peer review needs to be thorough and robust, yet not exhaust facility owner’s resources. The Rule references the EPA Peer Review Handbook as a guidance document, but the Handbook was crafted to facilitate peer review of regulations, and not facility-level reports. This presentation will discuss how to plan and execute a thorough peer review at a reasonable cost; when to start the peer review process; how to identify and select peer reviewers; how to balance interactions with the Director; how and what to document; a communications protocol appropriate for the goals of peer review; and what pitfalls to avoid during the process.