Wastewater

Removal of Low-Metal Levels Found in Power Plant Waste Streams

By Kenneth Chen and Dennis McBride

CLEAN WATER ACT COAL CONSERVATION ENVIRONMENTAL EPA FGD POWER GENERATION WASTEWATER

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Abstract

On April 19, 2013, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed new effluent limitation guidelines for water discharge from steam electric power generation plants (power plants). These guidelines will affect coal-fired power plants, combined-cycle plants, and various other steam-generated electric power plants that discharge wastewater to surface water (1). These guidelines were initiated as a result of the “development of new air pollution control technologies over the past 30 years, which altered existing wastewater streams at many power plants.” The power plant type that is most affected by these guidelines is coal-fired power plants, particularly plants with wet flue gas desulfurization (FGD) installed on the boiler exhaust.

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