ASTSWMO Position Paper on Coal Combustion Residuals

On June 21, 2010, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed the rule, Hazardous and Solid Waste Management System; Identification and Listing of Special Wastes; Disposal of Coal Combustion Residuals From Electric Utilities (75 FR 35127). In this rulemaking, EPA co-proposed two options for regulation of coal combustion residuals (CCRs). Under one option, EPA would reverse its August 1993 and May 2000 Bevill Regulatory Determinations regarding CCRs and list CCRs as a special waste subject to regulation under Subtitle C of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) when they are destined for disposal in landfills or surface impoundments. The other option would leave the Bevill determination in place and regulate disposal of CCRs under RCRA Subtitle D, with EPA issuing national minimum criteria under 40 CFR part 257 Criteria for Classification of Solid Waste Disposal Facilities and Practices. The proposal did not address the placement of CCRs in mines, or non-minefill uses of CCRs at coal mine sites. The proposal also did not change the May 2000 Regulatory Determination for beneficially used CCRs, which as EPA noted are currently exempt from the hazardous waste regulations under Section 3001(b)(3)(A) of RCRA. However, EPA did indicate that it was clarifying the determination and seeking comment on potential refinements for certain beneficial uses. This position paper is based in large part upon comments that ASTSWMO provided to EPA on November 19, 2010 in response to the proposal.