%	United States
Environmental Protection
\r hI #* Agency
Office of Land & Emergency Management
November 2019
Proposed Revisions to the Coal
Combustion Residuals (CCR) Rule
In April 2015, the U.S. Environmental Protection
Agency (EPA) promulgated a comprehensive set of
requirements for the management of coal
combustion residuals (CCR) in landfills and
impoundments. CCR include a variety of waste
streams, specifically, fly ash, bottom ash, boiler slag,
and flue gas desulfurization materials generated
from coal-fired electricity utilities; these waste
streams are commonly known as coal ash. The rule
established corrective action, closure and post
closure, technical standards, and inspection,
monitoring, recordkeeping and reporting
requirements. In Utility Solid Waste Activities Group
(USWAGetal. v. EPA (Aug. 21, 2018), the D.C. Circuit
of Appeals overturned certain provisions of EPA's
2015 rule and remanded some previsions back to the
Why Does EPA Support Beneficial Use of
Coal combustion residuals are an important resource
and the environmentally responsible beneficial use
of these materials offers many benefits including:
	Environmental benefits such as reduced need
for disposal;
	Economic benefits such as reduced costs
associated with coal ash disposal, increased
revenue from the sale of coal ash, and savings
from using coal ash in place of other more costly
	Product benefits such as improved strength,
durability, and workability of materials that are
used in wallboard and concrete and therefore
enhance our nation's highways and
infrastructure projects.
Creation of State CCR Permit Programs
Congress recognized the essential role states play in
managing coal ash when they passed the 2016
Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation
(WIIN) Act. The WIIN Act, among other changes,
gave states the authority to operate coal ash
management permit programs in lieu of the federal
requirements, provided that EPA determines the
state's requirements are as protective as the federal
standards. EPA is currently working with several
states to establish their own permit programs. Last
year, EPA approved Oklahoma's coal ash program
and this year has proposed the approval of Georgia's
Proposals to Provide Regulatory Clarity and
In light of court rulings, the WIIN Act, and a number
of petitions, EPA has proposed and is working on
developing new rules regarding CCR.
1. In Aug., EPA proposed amendments to CCR
regulations that encourage appropriate
beneficial use and provide greater clarity on
managing coal ash in piles, two issues which
were remanded back to the agency for
reconsideration. The proposal would also
make revisions to the web posting
requirements to make facility information
more readily available to the public,
enhancing transparency. These sensible
changes will further responsible
management of coal ash while protecting

human health and the environment. The
comment period closed in Oct. 2019.
2.	The Nov. 4 proposal establishes Aug. 2020 as
the date for utilities to cease receipt of waste
in affected impoundments. Furthermore, it
provides utilities the ability to demonstrate
the need to develop new environmentally
protective waste disposal technology subject
to EPA approval. This proposal however does
not alter the fundamental requirements of
the 2015 rule (e.g., groundwater monitoring,
corrective action).
3.	As directed by Congress, the agency will soon
propose a federal permitting program for
coal ash disposal units. As mentioned
previously, EPA has already accepted and
approved some state permitting programs
and is working with a number of states in the
development of their programs. EPA will
issue the permits in those states that choose
to not obtain approval and for facilities in
Indian Country.
Once completed, these and other contemplated
revisions to EPA's CCR management regulations will
provide a workable and reasonable framework for
facilities and states to follow enabling states to more
easily develop CCR permit programs and submit
them to EPA for approval.
More importantly, even though EPA is working on
several regulatory proposals, the vast majority of the
2015 coal ash rule remains in place and its
implementation continues. All units managing coal
ash are required to monitor groundwater, publicly
report the data, and take action to address
exceedances of the groundwater protection
What Specifically Would the Nov. 4 Proposal
The Nov. proposal addresses the deadline to cease
receipt of waste for unlined surface impoundments
managing coal ash. It includes the following:
them or begin closure. EPA determined this date
after evaluating the steps owners and operators
need to take to cease receipt of waste and
develop alternate disposal capacity.
	Revisions to the alternate closure provisions that
would allow certain facilities additional time to
develop alternate capacity to manage their
waste streams (including any additional waste
beyond CCR generated at the facility) before they
must initiate closure of their surface
	A court mandated change in the classification of
compacted-soil lined or "clay-lined" surface
impoundments from "lined" to "unlined," which
means that formerly defined clay-lined surface
impoundments would no longer be considered
lined units and will need to be retrofitted or
closed. In addition, pursuant to the court's
decision, the revisions will specify that all unlined
units are required to retrofit or close, not just
those that have detected groundwater
contamination above regulatory levels.
Where Can I Find More Information on This
For information about the proposed rule, contact
Kirsten Hillyer by telephone at 703-347-0369 or by
email at hillyer.kirsten(5>epa.qov.The EPA will be
accepting public comment on the proposed revisions
for 60 days once the rule is published in the Federal
Register via Regulations.gov. The EPA will conduct a
virtual public hearing about the proposed rule in
early Jan. 2020. Additional information is available
on epa.gov/coalash.
 A new date of Aug. 31, 2020, for facilities to stop
placing waste into these units, and either retrofit