Coal combustion waste management at landfills and surface impoundments 1994-2004.

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On May 22, 2000, as required by Congress in its 1980 Amendments to the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a Regulatory Determination on Wastes from the Combustion of Fossil Fuels. On the basis of information contained in its 1999 Report to Congress: Wastes from the Combustion of Fossil Fuels, the EPA concluded that coal combustion wastes (CCWs), also known as coal combustion by-products (CCBs), did not warrant regulation under Subtitle C of RCRA, and it retained the existing hazardous waste exemption for these materials under RCRA Section 3001(b)(3)(C). However, the EPA also ... continued below

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Elcock, D.; Ranek, N. L. & Division, Environmental Science September 8, 2006.

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Description

On May 22, 2000, as required by Congress in its 1980 Amendments to the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a Regulatory Determination on Wastes from the Combustion of Fossil Fuels. On the basis of information contained in its 1999 Report to Congress: Wastes from the Combustion of Fossil Fuels, the EPA concluded that coal combustion wastes (CCWs), also known as coal combustion by-products (CCBs), did not warrant regulation under Subtitle C of RCRA, and it retained the existing hazardous waste exemption for these materials under RCRA Section 3001(b)(3)(C). However, the EPA also determined that national regulations under Subtitle D of RCRA were warranted for CCWs that are disposed of in landfills or surface impoundments. The EPA made this determination in part on the basis of its findings that 'present disposal practices are such that, in 1995, these wastes were being managed in 40 percent to 70 percent of landfills and surface impoundments without reasonable controls in place, particularly in the area of groundwater monitoring; and while there have been substantive improvements in state regulatory programs, we have also identified gaps in State oversight' (EPA 2000). The 1999 Report to Congress (RTC), however, may not have reflected the changes in CCW disposal practices that occurred since the cutoff date (1995) of its database and subsequent developments. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the EPA discussed this issue and decided to conduct a joint DOE/EPA study to collect new information on the recent CCW management practices by the power industry. It was agreed that such information would provide a perspective on the chronological adoption of control measures in CCW units based on State regulations. A team of experts from the EPA, industry, and DOE (with support from Argonne National Laboratory) was established to develop a mutually acceptable approach for collecting and analyzing data on CCW disposal practices and State regulatory requirements at landfills and surface impoundments that were permitted, built, or laterally expanded between January 1, 1994, and December 31, 2004. The scope of the study excluded waste units that manage CCWs in active or abandoned coal mines. The EPA identified the following three areas of interest: (1) Recent and current CCW industry surface disposal management practices, (2) State regulatory requirements for CCW management, and (3) Implementation of State requirements (i.e., the extent to which States grant or deny operator requests to waive or vary regulatory requirements and the rationales for doing so). DOE and the EPA obtained data on recent and current disposal practices from a questionnaire that the Utility Solid Waste Activities Group (USWAG) distributed to its members that own or operate coal-fired power plants. USWAG, formed in 1978, is responsible for addressing solid and hazardous waste issues on behalf of the utility industry. It is an informal consortium of approximately 80 utility operating companies, the Edison Electric Institute (EEI), the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA), the American Public Power Association (APPA), and the American Gas Association (AGA). EEI is the principal national association of investor-owned electric power and light companies. NRECA is the national association of rural electric cooperatives. APPA is the national association of publicly owned electric utilities. AGA is the national association of natural gas utilities. Together, USWAG member companies and trade associations represent more than 85% of the total electric generating capacity of the United States and service more than 95% of the nation's consumers of electricity. To verify the survey findings, the EPA also asked State regulators from nine selected States that are leading consumers of coal for electricity generation for information on disposal units that may not have been covered in the USWAG survey. The selected States were Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Missouri, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, and Texas. A total of 56 waste units were identified, and information from these units formed the basis for the analysis of recent and current surface disposal management practices. Table S-1 summarizes the numbers of units for the various categories covered in this study.

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  • Report No.: ANL-EVS/06-4
  • Grant Number: DE-AC02-06CH11357
  • DOI: 10.2172/929226 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 929226
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc902314

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  • September 8, 2006

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  • Sept. 27, 2016, 1:39 a.m.

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  • Sept. 28, 2016, 6 p.m.

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Elcock, D.; Ranek, N. L. & Division, Environmental Science. Coal combustion waste management at landfills and surface impoundments 1994-2004., report, September 8, 2006; United States. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc902314/: accessed October 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.