EPA Proposes New Deadline to Initiate Closure for Surface Impoundments Under CCR Regulations
On Dec. 2, 2019, the Environmental Protection Agency proposed changes to its requirements for the disposal of coal combustion residuals (CCR) from electric utilities under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act. The proposal seeks to implement a recent court decision, which vacated provisions of the existing rule that allow unlined impoundments to continue receiving coal ash unless they leak, by classifying clay-lined surface impoundments from “lined” to “unlined.”
EPA also proposes to require unlined surface impoundments to stop receiving waste and initiate closure by Aug. 31, 2020, as opposed to the current deadline of Oct. 31, 2020. Additionally, EPA seeks to revise its alternate closure provision to give facilities additional time to develop alternate capacity to manage their wastestreams, including both CCR and non-CCR.