Entergy said last month that it was worried the EPA rule would force it to to spend $1.2 billion building two cooling towers at its Indina Point plant. Photographer: Mike Di Paola/Bloomberg
“Utilities such as Entergy Corp. (ETR) face U.S. rules aimed at preventing fish from being sucked into cooling-water systems and costing industry $384 million a year, the Environmental Protection Agency said.
“The Obama administration’s proposal introduced yesterday will affect more than 1,200 facilities and save billions of aquatic organisms, including 615 million fish and shellfish a year, the agency said in an e-mailed statement.
“The EPA rule, part of a court settlement with environmental groups, will cover power plants and factories that pull water from rivers or lakes to cool machines. Existing facilities will work with states to determine how to meet the requirements while new units will have to use closed-cycle cooling, a system that draws less water and ensnares fewer fish.
““The EPA’s approach is likely to minimize the industry’s cost of compliance,” Hugh Wynne, an analyst at Sanford Bernstein & Co. in New York, wrote today in a report to clients.
“The EPA’s pending proposal under the Clean Water Act had been singled out by energy companies, industry groups and Republican lawmakers as a regulation that may burden electric utilities and cause some coal-fired power plants to shut down.
“Representative Fred Upton, a Michigan Republican, in December said the rule might cost utilities as much as $300 million per site for coal-fired plants and as much as $1 billion for nuclear generators, exceeding the EPA’s projections.
“Exelon Corp. (EXC), owner of the most U.S. nuclear plants, said today the EPA’s proposed standard doesn’t require existing plants to build costly cooling towers.”
Read more: Bloomberg