EPA Finalizes Rule Regarding Disposal of Coal Combustion Residuals from Electric Utilities

The Disposal of Coal Combustion Residuals for Electric Utilities rule was finalized on December 19, 2014, when it was signed by Gina McCarthy, EPA Administrator.  It provides a comprehensive set of requirements for the disposal of coal combustion residuals (CCRs), commonly called coal ash, from coal-fired power plants.  The regulations address the risks from coal ash disposal – leaking of contaminants into groundwater, release of contaminants into the air as dust, and the catastrophic failure of coal ash surface impoundments, such as the one that occurred at the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) power plant in Kingston, Tennessee, in December 2008.  Additionally, the rule sets out recordkeeping and reporting requirements as well as the requirement for each facility to establish and post specific information to a publicly accessible website.  This final rule also supports the responsible recycling of CCRs by distinguishing safe, beneficial use from disposal.  The pre-publication (unofficial) version can be found here.