Search

Final Rule Alert: EPA Amends 2015 Coal Combustion Residuals Rule

Posted on 7/26/2018 by Roger Marks

shutterstock_20957983.jpgNew Acting EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler on Wednesday, July 18 announced that the Agency has finalized a set of amendments to the 2015 CCR Rule, which regulated the disposal of coal combustion residuals.

New requirements added for coal-burning power plants in the 2015 CCR Rule included national minimum criteria for coal combustion residuals landfills and surface impoundments. The CCR Rule also introduced new limits on expansion of CCR disposal facilities and would have required closure or retro-fitting of certain landfills and surface impoundments that could not meet certain performance criteria.

The changes finalized in a rule signed by the Administrator represent “phase one” of EPA’s plan to reconsider and/or revise the 2015 CCR Rule. For a full review of what’s changing in the CCR rule, check out the pre-publication version here.


What’s in Phase One of EPA’s CCR Revisions?

Here what you should know about “phase one” of EPA’s plans.
 
  • Add a provision which allows the Participating State Director to issue certifications in lieu of a professional engineer (PE).
  • Add a provision which allows the Participating State Director to approve the suspension of groundwater monitoring in certain circumstances.
  • Revise groundwater protection standards (GWPS) for four chemicals listed in Appendix IV of 40 CFR 257.
  • Extend, in some cases, the deadline by which facilities must cease placing waste in CCR units closing for cause.
EPA estimates the cost savings of this rulemaking to be between $27 million and $32 million.


Why Do Power Plants Discharge “Coal Ash” to the Water?

coal-fired-power-plant.jpgThe 2015 Final Rule was not US EPA's first attempt to “clean up” the byproducts of coal-fired electricity generation. Between 1974 and 1982, US EPA created and revised effluent limitation guidelines for wastewaters from utilities. Since then, EPA has made great progress restricting air pollution emissions from steam-powered electric power generators.

One major way power plants have "cleaned up" their air emissions over time is by filtering, or "scrubbing," to remove particulate matter like soot and ash, or toxic chemicals like sulfur, nitrogen, and mercury. The air emissions pass through a water-based filter system that "scrubs" the air, removing particulate matter from the air and resulting in cleaner air emissions.

The soot, ash, and other substances left behind in the scrubber water then must be discharged somehow. Put simply, to better protect the air, power plants were left to shift these pollutants to the water instead.


In Houston: Complete Environmental
Regulations Training, August 9—10

Are you the go-to person for all things EHS at your facility? Join us in Houston on August 9–10 for the nationally trusted Complete Environmental Regulations Workshop.

chemist-oil-and-gas-young.jpgUnderstanding the air, water, and chemical regulations that apply to your facility will help you communicate clearly and confidently with your organization and better defend your business against costly fines, penalties, and future liability. This workshop covers the critical elements of major EPA programs that impact industrial facilities every day.
 
Can’t attend live? Check out the Complete Environmental Regulations Online Course The online course is packed with training content, tutorials, resources, and FAQs that clarify and simplify the complex, overlapping EPA rules you must know. 
 

Tags: Act, Clean, coal ash, EPA, new rules, RCRA, Water

Find a Post

Compliance Archives

Lion - Quotes

Much better than my previous class with another company. The Lion instructor made sense, kept me awake and made me laugh!

Marti Severs

Enterprise Safety Manager

I used the IT support number available and my issue was resolved within a few minutes. I don't see anything that could have made it better.

Danny Province

EHS Professional

Lion was very responsive to my initial questions and the website was user friendly.

Michael Britt

Supply Chain Director

I really enjoy your workshops. Thank you for such a great program and all the help Lion has provided me over the years!

George Chatman

Hazardous Material Pharmacy Technician

I had a positive experience utilizing this educational program. It was very informative, convenient, and rewarding from a career perspective.

John Gratacos

Logistics Manager

The instructor took a rather drab set of topics and brought them to life with realistic real-life examples.

Tom Berndt

HSE Coordinator

Having the tutorial buttons for additional information was extremely beneficial.

Sharon Ziemek

EHS Manager

I can't say enough how pleased I was with this course! Everything finally makes sense.

Kim Graham

Lab Manager

I have over 26 years of environmental compliance experience, and it has been some time since I have attended an environmental regulations workshop. I attended this course as preparation for EHS Audits for my six plants, and it was exactly what I was looking for.

Frank Sizemore

Director of Regulatory Affairs

I was recently offered an opportunity to take my training through another company, but I politely declined. I only attend Lion Technology workshops.

Stephanie Gilliam

Material Production/Logistics Manager

Download Our Latest Whitepaper

Hazardous materials shipment rejections bear a big cost. Use this guide to end operational and logistical disruptions that severely impact your bottom line.

Latest Whitepaper

By submitting your phone number, you agree to receive recurring marketing and training text messages. Consent to receive text messages is not required for any purchases. Text STOP at any time to cancel. Message and data rates may apply. View our Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.