New Frontiers in Fisheries Management and Ecology: Leading the Way in a Changing World

Seattle, Washington
04 September 2011
Hosted By: the American Fisheries Society (AFS)

NERA Senior Vice President and Environment Group Head Dr. David Harrison presented "The Role of Benefit-Cost Analysis in 316(b) BTA Determinations: The Road Ahead" to the American Fisheries Society in Seattle on 6 September 2011. The US Supreme Court ruled in April 2009 that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) may use (but was not required to use) benefit-cost analysis in setting standards  for Best Technology Available (BTA) and issuing permits under Section 316(b) of the Clean Water Act. EPA in April 2011 proposed 316(b) standards for existing power plants and other industrial facilities. The proposed rule includes the use of benefit-cost analysis in the setting of site-specific BTA requirements related to aquatic organisms that are pulled into the cooling system ("entrainment") and thus appears to embrace the flexibility allowed by the Supreme Court. Dr. Harrison's presentation considers the likely implementation of the EPA proposed rule in light of the benefit-cost analysis that EPA prepared for the proposed rule. The presentation concludes with three recommendations to encourage the appropriate use of benefit-cost analysis in site-specific BTA determinations. The presentation is based in part on comments prepared for the Utility Water Act Group that were submitted to the EPA rulemaking docket.

Download Dr. Harrison's presentation.

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