The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) published the Hazardous and Solid Waste Management System; Disposal of Coal Combustion Residuals from Electric Utilities; Final Rule (CCR Rule) in the Federal Register on April 17, 2015. The purpose of the Coal Combustion Residuals (CCR) Rule is to reduce the risk to human health and the environment from CCR disposal units by establishing national minimum criteria for new and existing CCR landfills and CCR surface impoundments.
All applicable CCR disposal sites are subject to the rule equally. There is no transition policy or grandfather clauses for particular units. All CCR disposal units that are subject to the rule were subject to the requirements as of the effective date of the rule on October 19, 2015.
The requirements of the CCR Rule apply to:
- All active electric utility companies and independent power producers that fall within the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code 221112.
- All active CCR landfills and surface impoundments, both onsite and offsite of a producer’s facility.
- Inactive CCR surface impoundments at active facilities.
The requirements of the CCR Rule do not apply to:
- Coal ash resulting from electricity that was generated using fuel that is less than 50% coal.
- The placement of coal ash in active or abandoned coal mines.
- CCR landfills that stopped receiving coal ash prior to October 19, 2015.
- CCR landfills and surface impoundments at facilities that have ceased producing electricity prior to October 19, 2015.
- Coal ash that is used beneficially.
- Coal ash generated at non-utility facilities or facilities that are not an independent power producer, such as hospitals or universities.
- Municipal solid waste landfills that receive coal ash.