U.S. Code of Federal Regulations
Regulations most recently checked for updates: Sep 28, 2023
(a) Permit application. As the Director, you must review materials submitted by the applicant under 40 CFR 122.21(r), § 125.135, and § 125.136 at the time of the initial permit application and before each permit renewal or reissuance.
(1) After receiving the initial permit application from the owner or operator of a new offshore oil and gas extraction facility, the Director must determine applicable standards in § 125.134 or § 125.135 to apply to the new offshore oil and gas extraction facility. In addition, the Director must review materials to determine compliance with the applicable standards.
(2) For each subsequent permit renewal, the Director must review the application materials and monitoring data to determine whether requirements, or additional requirements, for design and construction technologies or operational measures should be included in the permit.
(3) For Track II facilities, the Director may review the information collection proposal plan required by § 125.136(c)(2)(ii). The facility may initiate sampling and data collection activities prior to receiving comment from the Director.
(b) Permitting requirements. Section 316(b) requirements are implemented for a facility through an NPDES permit. As the Director, you must determine, based on the information submitted by the new offshore oil and gas extraction facility in its permit application, the appropriate requirements and conditions to include in the permit based on the track (Track I or Track II), or alternative requirements in accordance with § 125.135, the new offshore oil and gas extraction facility has chosen to comply with. The following requirements must be included in each permit:
(1) Cooling water intake structure requirements. At a minimum, the permit conditions must include the performance standards that implement the applicable requirements of § 125.134(b)(2), (3), (4) and (5); § 125.134(c)(1) and (2); or § 125.135.
(i) For a facility that chooses Track I, you must review the Design and Construction Technology Plan required in § 125.136(b)(3) to evaluate the suitability and feasibility of the technology proposed to minimize impingement mortality and (if applicable) entrainment of all life stages of fish and shellfish. In the first permit issued, you must include a condition requiring the facility to reduce impingement mortality and/or entrainment commensurate with the implementation of the technologies in the permit. Under subsequent permits, the Director must review the performance of the technologies implemented and require additional or different design and construction technologies, if needed to minimize impingement mortality and/or entrainment of all life stages of fish and shellfish. In addition, you must consider whether more stringent conditions are reasonably necessary in accordance with § 125.134(d).
(ii) For a fixed facility that chooses Track II, you must review the information submitted with the Comprehensive Demonstration Study information required in § 125.136(c)(2), evaluate the suitability of the proposed design and construction technology and/or operational measures to determine whether they will reduce both impingement mortality and/or entrainment of all life stages of fish and shellfish to 90 percent or greater of the reduction that could be achieved through Track I. In addition, you must review the Verification Monitoring Plan in § 125.136(c)(2)(iii)(C) and require that the proposed monitoring begin at the start of operations of the cooling water intake structure and continue for a sufficient period of time to demonstrate that the technologies and operational measures meet the requirements in § 125.134(c)(1). Under subsequent permits, the Director must review the performance of the additional and /or different technologies or measures used and determine that they reduce the level of adverse environmental impact from the cooling water intake structures to a comparable level that the facility would achieve were it to implement the requirements of § 125.134(b)(2) and, if applicable, § 125.134(b)(5).
(iii) If a facility requests alternative requirements in accordance with § 125.135, you must determine if data specific to the facility meet the requirements in § 125.135(a) and include in the permit requirements that are no less stringent than justified by the wholly out of proportion cost or the significant adverse impacts on local water resources other than impingement or entrainment, or significant adverse impacts on energy markets.
(2) Monitoring conditions. At a minimum, the permit must require the permittee to perform the monitoring required in § 125.137. You may modify the monitoring program when the permit is reissued and during the term of the permit based on changes in physical or biological conditions in the vicinity of the cooling water intake structure. The Director may require continued monitoring based on the results of monitoring done pursuant to the Verification Monitoring Plan in § 125.136(c)(2)(iii)(C).
(3) Record keeping and reporting. At a minimum, the permit must require the permittee to report and keep records as required by § 125.138.