All eyes and ears will be on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on December 19 when the agency is expected to announce final regulations for the handling and disposal of coal ash and coal plant water contained in surface impoundments owned and operated by the power industry.
The Tennessee Valley Authority coal ash spill in 2008, the February spill at the Duke Energy facility in North Carolina, and a recent ruling in a lawsuit has brought increased pressure on the EPA to finalize regulations for coal ash (also known as Coal Combustion Residuals or Coal Combustion Waste).
EPA Options being Considered
Subtitle C Option – Under this option, coal ash would be regulated under Subtitle C of the RCRA act, require conformance to hazardous waste regulations, and provide the EPA with federal oversight.
Subtitle D Option – Under this option, coal ash would be regulated under Subtitle D of the RCRA act as a non-hazardous waste and provide states with the regulatory oversight.
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