On June 21, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced in the Federal Register a proposed action to regulate coal combustion residuals (also known as “fly ash”) produced by electric utility companies. When disposed of in an unprotected landfill, fly ash can represent an environmental and safety hazard if it leeches into drinking water sources. Anne Arundel County had to deal with such an event several years ago.
EPA is considering two possible levels of regulation, both would come under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act. The first would treat fly ash as a “special waste,” subject to a high level of regulation. The second would continue to treat fly ash as a “non-hazardous waste” but enact some disposal protocols.
Fly ash that is put to various beneficial uses would not be subject to regulation. The comment period for the proposed action runs until September 20. Instructions for submitting comments are included in the Register entry.