Geosyntec's biologists and water resource engineers offer the operators of industrial facilities decades of experience in meeting permitting requirements for cooling water intake structures (CWIS) regulated under Section 316(b) of the Clean Water Act.

Our scientists and engineers conduct numerous studies and guide the implementation of a variety of controls that allow factories, power plants, pulp and paper mills, and similar facilities to comply with the requirements for CWISs in a manner that has the least impact to plant operations and still accommodate site-specific circumstances. We consult with clients on the location, design, construction, and capacity of CWISs that will reflect the best technology available (BTA) for minimizing adverse environmental impacts when using large volumes of cooling water from lakes, rivers, estuaries, and oceans.

In addition, we prepare supporting documentation and conduct site-specific studies that characterize impingement mortality of fish and shellfish pinned against intake structures as well as adverse effects to aquatic life entrained or drawn into cooling systems and subsequently exposed to heat, chemicals, and physical stress.

In just one example, Geosyntec aided South Carolina Electric and Gas in complying with new requirements for CWISs under Section 316(b) at its V.C. Summer Nuclear Station. Geosyntec evaluated applicable BTAs, compiled the necessary facility data, prepared required documentation, and conducted site-specific studies characterizing existing fish impingement mortality, with the ultimate objective of completing a successful 316(b) comprehensive demonstration study at the plant.

In addition, we reviewed restoration measures that included modified coarse mesh Ristroph screens, a fish handling and return system, a fish barrier net system, and an innovative skimmer wall-barrier net system designed to shunt additional cooling water to the plant during the summer. We compiled source water physical data, CWIS data, and a proposal for information collection (PIC) and an associated sampling plan for conducting the Impingement Mortality Characterization Study (IMCS).

During a similar project for a coal-fired power generation facility, Geosyntec prepared the PIC and associated sampling plan for the IMCS, maximizing the use of existing fish community data and knowledge of site-specific conditions and plant operations to justify study requirements. We thereby limited the scope of new impingement mortality field studies to bi-weekly for one year. Our biologists also worked closely with plant personnel to design a collection device that diverts the screen-wash from traveling screens to a shoreline structure that provides safe access and working conditions under all flow conditions.

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