Dominion Issues Statement on EPA's New 316b Rule
Dominion (NYSE:D) has issued the following statement regarding the Environmental Protection Agency's new rule designed to protect aquatic life from cooling water intakes at power stations:
The Environmental Protection Agency's final rule for Cooling Water Intake Structures at Existing Facilities under section 316(b) of the Clean Water Act requires new technology and monitoring requirements on electric generating stations to reduce impacts on aquatic resources.
"Dominion thanks EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy and her staff for their extensive and open dialogue with stakeholders and for including provisions that recognize the importance of ensuring electric reliability," said Thomas F. Farrell II, Dominion's chairman, president and chief executive officer. "As a result, Dominion believes the rule represents a reasonable approach to minimizing the impact on aquatic life while being mindful of the impacts to ratepayers.
"Our initial review of the rule finds that it includes significant improvements compared to the proposed rule. States retain authority to impose effective entrainment measures appropriate for the site-specific features of each facility. Also, EPA has provided needed business certainty by identifying a suite of technologies that can be selected to reduce impingement impacts.
"The rule does not mandate the use of costly and energy-intensive cooling towers at all facilities, yet it will result in major capital investments in advanced technologies that are suitable for each facility. These choices in compliance options based on enhanced monitoring will ensure the selection of effective, yet prudent technologies.
"This reasonable approach will minimize costs to our customers and recognizes our responsibility to protect the reliability of the electric grid."
Dominion has done an initial review of the rule and believes it will apply to several of its power stations. A detailed analysis of the rule is ongoing.
Dominion is one of the nation's largest producers and transporters of energy, with a portfolio of approximately 23,600 megawatts of generation, 10,900 miles of natural gas transmission, gathering and storage pipeline and 6,400 miles of electric transmission lines. Dominion operates one of the nation's largest natural gas storage systems with 947 billion cubic feet of storage capacity and serves utility and retail energy customers in 10 states.