- Generation Station Compliance
Burns & McDonnell conducted Section 316(b) studies at five power generation facilities owned by Wisconsin Public Service Corp. The facilities are in Rothschild, Green Bay, and Cassville, Wis.; Shamokin Dam, Pa.; and Beaver Falls, N.Y. The sources of once-through cooling water for these facilities are the Wisconsin River, Fox River, Mississippi River, Susquehanna River, and Beaver River, respectively. Because these facilities use more than 50 million gallons per day for cooling, they are subject to the Phase II rules implementing Section 316(b) of the Clean Water Act.
The scope of work for each facility involved selecting the most advantageous compliance alternative — based on life-cycle cost analyses — preparation of a Proposal for Information Collection (PIC), and, if necessary, designing and conducting impingement and/or entrainment studies. The life-cycle cost analyses included evaluating compliance options such as cooling towers, barrier nets, and fish handling and return systems. The PIC included descriptions of the chosen compliance option or options to be evaluated, a summary of consultations with fish and wildlife agencies, a summary of historical fisheries studies done on the water body in question, and a sampling plan for field studies needed to develop an estimate of impingement and/or entrainment mortality.
- Beaver Falls
- Section 316(b) compliance
- Impingement monitoring
- Entrainment monitoring
- Regulatory consultation
At the time of this study, the facility at Rothschild, Wis., had three existing units and one unit under construction. The two older and smaller units use once-through cooling and the other units use closed-cycle cooling. Burns & McDonnell prepared an analysis that showed the closed-cycle cooling used by the newer units provided sufficient intake flow reduction to reduce impingement and entrainment by more than 80 percent relative to an assumed facility configuration that used once-through cooling. Under the Section 316(b) applicable at the time, this analysis indicated no modifications would have been necessary at this facility.
For the facility at Beaver Falls, N.Y., a combined-cycle combustion turbine generating station that uses once-through cooling for the stream cycle, Burns & McDonnell modeled the cooling system hydraulics, evaluated circulating water flow rate test data, and designed a cooling system modification to reduce the design intake rate of the facility to less than 50 million gallons per day. This modification was implemented, and the New York Department of Environmental Conservation then deemed the facility at Beaver Falls to not be subject to the Section 316(b), Phase II regulations.
For the facility at Cassville, Wis., Burns & McDonnell compared historical ambient fisheries data collected in the vicinity of the site at the time an impingement and entrainment study was conducted at the facility (mid-1970s) to similar data collected in 2002. The analysis indicated the fishery was essentially the same at these two times and that the impingement and entrainment study should be considered still valid. A new impingement study was conducted at this facility in April and May 2006 to measure the impingement of fish that could be hosting the glochidia of an endangered species of fresh water mussel.
Burns & McDonnell also conducted an impingement study at the facility in Shamokin Dam, which changed ownership to Sunbury Generation LP midway through the study. At the Green Bay facility, Burns & McDonnell conducted an impingement and entrainment study and evaluated the effectiveness of an existing barrier net system.