USEPA Regulatory Update – Disposal of Coal Combustion Residuals

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has published its final rule regulating the disposal of coal combustion residuals (CCRs). Disposal regulation of CCRs will be under the subtitle D “non-hazardous” section of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act.  Among other things, subtitle D requires composite liner systems be utilized in new and or expanded landfills and surface impoundments. Good news for most stakeholders is that the new rule allows for the use of alternative liners, explicitly mentioning Geosynthetic Clay Liners (GCLs) as a viable replacement for 2’ of compacted clay, provided equivalency is demonstrated.  

Be careful when selecting a GCL though; not all CCRs are created equal and there is no “one size fits” all GCL.   Equivalency needs to be demonstrated through site specific compatibility and shear strength testing.

Advanced GeoServices has extensive design and construction experience with the closure of large coal ash basins for various clients.  The unique considerations of coal ash basin closures or beneficial reuse requires a design expert such as Advanced GeoServices.  Below are links to the final rules and a fact sheet.

If you have questions about this rule or if you want to discuss your environmental needs, please contact:

Christopher T. Reitman
Senior Project Consultant