Reviewing Environmental Impact Statements - Power Plant Cooling Systems, Engineering Aspects



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United States Government Printing Office


This report describes the approach and technical base that have been used by EPA's National Thermal Pollution Research Program for reviewing those portions of Environmental Impact Statements (EIS's) relative to the engineering aspects (including economics) of cooling water systems for thermal power plants. The report provides techniques and data to enable the EIs reviewer to make sounds judgments concerning the adequacy of both the cooling water system selected for the power plant and the EIS comments on that system. Literature citations are provided to direct the reviewer to additional and more detailed information. The report provides information and discussion on cooling system configurations, operation, environmental effects, and costs. Consideration is given to the intake as well as the discharge. Various closed-cycle cooling systems employing cooling towers, cooling ponds, spray systems, and other devices are covered. Methods of assessing alternative selections and benefit-cost analyses are presented. Non-thermal aspects of cooling water systems are discussed. The report lays the groundwork for a technically sound EIS review; however, the reviewer must supplement the material presented herein with references and perhaps technical consultation to prepare comprehensive and detailed review comments.


93 pages


environmental impact statement, cooling water systems, environmental impact, thermal pollution, power plants