United States	Office of Land & Emergency Management
Environmental Protection	July2020
\r hI #* Agency
Revisions to the Coal Combustion
Residuals (CCR) Closure Regulations
Background
In April 2015, the U.S. Environmental Protection
Agency (EPA) promulgated a comprehensive set of
requirements for the management of coal
combustion residuals 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
electric 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 [USWAG et at. v. EPA (Aug. 21,
2018)], the D.C. Circuit of Appeals overturned certain
provisions of EPA's 2015 rule and remanded some
provisions back to the agency.
Even though EPA is making several regulatory
changes with this final rule, the regulations in place
since 2015 to detect and assess, and as needed to
remediate, impacts on groundwater from CCR in
surface impoundments and landfills are in place and
implementation remains on schedule. The 2015
requirements for facility inspection, monitoring,
recordkeeping and reporting requirements remain in
place and will now include summary tables for the
monitoring data and assurances that the public can
easily access the posted information. EPA's updates
with this final rule keep the major protections and
requirements of the 2015 rule in place while making
changes to implement the Water Infrastructure
Improvements to the Nation (WIIN) Act, respond to
petitions, address litigation, and apply lessons
learned to ensure smoother implementation of the
rule.
Summary of the Final Rule
This rule finalizes regulations to implement the
court's ruling about unlined and "clay-lined" surface
impoundments. More specifically:
	The final rule specifies that all unlined surface
impoundments are required to retrofit or
close, not just those that have detected
groundwater contamination above
regulatory levels.
	The rule also changes the classification of
compacted-soil lined or "clay-lined" surface
impoundments from "lined" to "unlined,"
which means that formerly defined clay-lined
surface impoundments are no longer
considered lined units and need to be
retrofitted or closed.
In addition, EPA is establishing a revised date, April
11, 2021, by which unlined surface impoundments
and units that failed the aquifer location restriction
must cease receiving waste and initiate closure or
retrofit. EPA determined this new date after a
careful analysis of the considerable amount of
planning and construction timeline data submitted
during the public comment period.
EPA is also finalizing revisions to the alternative
closure provisions that would grant certain facilities
additional time to develop alternative capacity to
manage their waste streams (including additional
waste - primarily non-CCR wastewaters - generated
at the facility) before they must stop receiving waste
and initiate closure of their surface impoundments.

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Lastly, EPA is finalizing amendments to the annual
groundwater monitoring and corrective action
report and the requirements for the publicly
accessible internet sites that were proposed on
August 14, 2019. This provision enhances the
public's access to information and includes:
	Revising the annual groundwater monitoring
and corrective action report requirements to
make the data easier for the public to
understand and evaluate, including a
requirement to summarize the results in an
executive summary.
	Revising the CCR website requirements to
ensure that relevant facility information
required by the regulations is immediately
available to the public.
Where Can I Find More Information on This
Final Rule?
Additional information about this rulemaking is
available at www.epa.gov/coalash. For information
about the final rule, contact Kirsten Hillyer by
telephone at 703-347-0369 or by email at
hillyer. kirsten@epa. gov.

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