Effluent Limitations Guidelines and Standards
a. Best Available Technology Economically Achievable (BAT)
BAT represents the second level of stringency for controlling the direct discharge of toxic and nonconventional pollutants. In general, BAT-based effluent guidelines and new source performance standards represent the best available economically achievable performance of facilities in the industrial subcategory or category. Following the statutory language, EPA considers the technological availability and the economic achievability in determining what level of control represents BAT. CWA Section 301 (b)(2)(A). Other statutory factors that EPA considers in assessing BAT are the cost of achieving BAT effluent reductions, the age of equipment and facilities involved, the process employed, potential process changes, and non-water quality environmental impacts, including energy requirements and such other factors as the Administrator deems appropriate. CWA section 304 (b)(2)(B). The Agency retains considerable discretion in assigning the weight to be accorded these factors.
b. Best Available Demonstrated Control Technology (BADCT)/New Source Performance Standards (NSPS)
NSPS reflect effluent reductions that are achievable based on the best available demonstrated control technology (BADCT). Owners of new facilities have the opportunity to install the best and most efficient production processes and wastewater treatment technologies.
e. Best Management Practices (BMPs)
Section 304(e) of the CWA authorizes the Administrator to publish regulations, in addition to effluent limitations guidelines and standards for certain toxic and hazardous pollutants, “to control plant site runoff, spillage or leaks, sludge or waste disposal, and drainage from raw material storage which the Administrator determines are associated with or ancillary to the industrial manufacturing or treatment process . . . and may contribute significant amounts of such pollutants to navigable waters.” In addition, section 304(g), read in concert with section 501(a), authorizes EPA to prescribe as wide a range of pretreatment requirements as the Administrator deems appropriate in order to control and prevent the discharge into navigable waters, either directly or through POTWs, any pollutant which interferes with, passes through, or otherwise is incompatible with such treatment works.
M.A.R.S’ Point of View
Best Available Technology (BATs) and Best Management Practices (BMPs) will both refer to products or processes that will be able to improve the efficiency of the existing process or system. Amalgam scrubbers have not historically been used due to size and expense. Dental amalgam scrubbers are now available as a result of improved products and advanced technology. Scrubbers will be the next step in achieving the lower discharge rates that are expected from the control groups (POTW).
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