Larval lives may improve: USA cooling water mitigation

Geoff Read at
Wed Nov 3 20:14:29 EST 2004

There is no direct polychaete connection (unless someone cares to find one), 
but this story seems to be a good news one for coastal USA invertebrates, 
including polychaetes. I'm not sure how those with biofouling abilities will 
be dealt to under this kinder, nurturing regime!   

As the result of a settlement in a 1995 lawsuit with environmentalists, the
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to protect fish,
shellfish and other aquatic life from being destroyed by cooling water intake
structures at manufacturing facilities and new offshore oil and gas facilities

More at:

"Section 316(b) of the Clean Water Act requires us to ensure that the 
location, design, construction, and capacity of cooling water intake 
structures reflect the best technology available to minimize adverse 
environmental impact. Such impacts include death or injury to aquatic 
organisms by impingement (being pinned against screens or other parts of a 
cooling water intake structure) or entrainment (being drawn into cooling water 
systems and subjected to thermal, physical or chemical stresses)."

"Power plants use enormous quantities of water, nearly a hundred trillion 
gallons per year from the nation's rivers, lakes, oceans and estuaries, to 
condense steam use in generating electricity.  A single large power plant can 
withdraw several billion of gallons of cooling water per day, more than a 
million gallons per minute, killing the overwhelming majority of organisms in 
this massive volume by entraining them into the facility or impinging them on 
intake screens.  This staggering mortality - trillions of fish, shellfish, 
plankton and other species at all life stages - has stressed and depleted 
aquatic, coastal and marine ecosystems for decades, and has contributed to the 
collapse of some fisheries. On New York's Hudson River, for example, a cluster 
of power plants were found to reduce nearly 80% of certain fish species in 
certain years.  Throughout the country, the toll on fisheries by power plants 
rivals, and in some cases exceeds, that of the fishing industry."  

  Geoff Read < at>

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