U.S. Code of Federal Regulations
Regulations most recently checked for updates: Nov 29, 2023
The following special definitions apply to this subpart:
Annual mean flow means the average of daily flows over a calendar year. Historical data (up to 10 years) must be used where available.
Closed-cycle recirculating system means a system designed, using minimized makeup and blowdown flows, to withdraw water from a natural or other water source to support contact and/or noncontact cooling uses within a facility. The water is usually sent to a cooling canal or channel, lake, pond, or tower to allow waste heat to be dissipated to the atmosphere and then is returned to the system. (Some facilities divert the waste heat to other process operations.) New source water (make-up water) is added to the system to replenish losses that have occurred due to blowdown, drift, and evaporation.
Cooling water means water used for contact or noncontact cooling, including water used for equipment cooling, evaporative cooling tower makeup, and dilution of effluent heat content. The intended use of the cooling water is to absorb waste heat rejected from the process or processes used, or from auxiliary operations on the facility's premises. Cooling water that is used in a manufacturing process either before or after it is used for cooling is considered process water for the purposes of calculating the percentage of a new facility's intake flow that is used for cooling purposes in § 125.81(c).
Cooling water intake structure means the total physical structure and any associated constructed waterways used to withdraw cooling water from waters of the U.S. The cooling water intake structure extends from the point at which water is withdrawn from the surface water source up to, and including, the intake pumps.
Design intake flow means the value assigned (during the facility's design) to the total volume of water withdrawn from a source water body over a specific time period.
Design intake velocity means the value assigned (during the design of a cooling water intake structure) to the average speed at which intake water passes through the open area of the intake screen (or other device) against which organisms might be impinged or through which they might be entrained.
Entrainment means the incorporation of all life stages of fish and shellfish with intake water flow entering and passing through a cooling water intake structure and into a cooling water system.
Estuary means a semi-enclosed body of water that has a free connection with open seas and within which the seawater is measurably diluted with fresh water derived from land drainage. The salinity of an estuary exceeds 0.5 parts per thousand (by mass) but is typically less than 30 parts per thousand (by mass).
Existing facility means any facility that is not a new facility.
Freshwater river or stream means a lotic (free-flowing) system that does not receive significant inflows of water from oceans or bays due to tidal action. For the purposes of this rule, a flow-through reservoir with a retention time of 7 days or less will be considered a freshwater river or stream.
Hydraulic zone of influence means that portion of the source waterbody hydraulically affected by the cooling water intake structure withdrawal of water.
Impingement means the entrapment of all life stages of fish and shellfish on the outer part of an intake structure or against a screening device during periods of intake water withdrawal.
Lake or reservoir means any inland body of open water with some minimum surface area free of rooted vegetation and with an average hydraulic retention time of more than 7 days. Lakes or reservoirs might be natural water bodies or impounded streams, usually fresh, surrounded by land or by land and a man-made retainer (e.g., a dam). Lakes or reservoirs might be fed by rivers, streams, springs, and/or local precipitation. Flow-through reservoirs with an average hydraulic retention time of 7 days or less should be considered a freshwater river or stream.
Maximize means to increase to the greatest amount, extent, or degree reasonably possible.
Minimize means to reduce to the smallest amount, extent, or degree reasonably possible.
Natural thermal stratification means the naturally-occurring division of a waterbody into horizontal layers of differing densities as a result of variations in temperature at different depths.
New facility means any building, structure, facility, or installation that meets the definition of a “new source” or “new discharger” in 40 CFR 122.2 and 122.29(b)(1), (2), and (4) and is a greenfield or stand-alone facility; commences construction after January 17, 2002; and uses either a newly constructed cooling water intake structure, or an existing cooling water intake structure whose design capacity is increased to accommodate the intake of additional cooling water. New facilities include only “greenfield” and “stand-alone” facilities. A greenfield facility is a facility that is constructed at a site at which no other source is located, or that totally replaces the process or production equipment at an existing facility (see 40 CFR 122.29(b)(1)(i) and (ii)). A stand-alone facility is a new, separate facility that is constructed on property where an existing facility is located and whose processes are substantially independent of the existing facility at the same site (see 40 CFR 122.29(b)(1)(iii)). New facility does not include new units that are added to a facility for purposes of the same general industrial operation (for example, a new peaking unit at an electrical generating station).
(1) Examples of “new facilities” include, but are not limited to: the following scenarios:
(i) A new facility is constructed on a site that has never been used for industrial or commercial activity. It has a new cooling water intake structure for its own use.
(ii) A facility is demolished and another facility is constructed in its place. The newly-constructed facility uses the original facility's cooling water intake structure, but modifies it to increase the design capacity to accommodate the intake of additional cooling water.
(iii) A facility is constructed on the same property as an existing facility, but is a separate and independent industrial operation. The cooling water intake structure used by the original facility is modified by constructing a new intake bay for the use of the newly constructed facility or is otherwise modified to increase the intake capacity for the new facility.
(2) Examples of facilities that would not be considered a “new facility” include, but are not limited to, the following scenarios:
(i) A facility in commercial or industrial operation is modified and either continues to use its original cooling water intake structure or uses a new or modified cooling water intake structure.
(ii) A facility has an existing intake structure. Another facility (a separate and independent industrial operation), is constructed on the same property and connects to the facility's cooling water intake structure behind the intake pumps, and the design capacity of the cooling water intake structure has not been increased. This facility would not be considered a “new facility” even if routine maintenance or repairs that do not increase the design capacity were performed on the intake structure.
Ocean means marine open coastal waters with a salinity greater than or equal to 30 parts per thousand (by mass).
Source water means the water body (waters of the U.S.) from which the cooling water is withdrawn.
Thermocline means the middle layer of a thermally stratified lake or reservoir. In this layer, there is a rapid decrease in temperatures.
Tidal excursion means the horizontal distance along the estuary or tidal river that a particle moves during one tidal cycle of ebb and flow.
Tidal river means the most seaward reach of a river or stream where the salinity is typically less than or equal to 0.5 parts per thousand (by mass) at a time of annual low flow and whose surface elevation responds to the effects of coastal lunar tides.