Under the new Federal Coal Combustion Residual Rule (CCR) Rule, citizen lawsuits play a critical role in enforcement. To keep stakeholders informed and enable public participation, US EPA recently launched a website that consolidates information on utility compliance with the Rule (US EPA CCR Compliance Website).
The website presently serves two key functions. First, it presents the facilities that US EPA has identified as being out of compliance with the CCR Rule. Currently, compliance with the rule is based on two criteria: whether the facility has developed a public website and whether a fugitive dust control plan has been prepared and posted online. Facilities that have not completed these two requirements have been classified as “open dumps” by US EPA. Under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), open dumping is prohibited. US EPA has preliminarily classified seven facilities as open dumps. As more deadlines associated with the Rule’s technical requirements approach, it is likely that additional disposal facilities will be listed on US EPA’s open dump list on the CCR compliance website.
The other key function of US EPA’s compliance website is to provide a link to every utility’s CCR Rule compliance website, to which groundwater detection and assessment monitoring data must be posted by October 2017. It is important that utilities begin planning now to develop statistically robust monitoring and reporting programs that accurately convey groundwater conditions. Exceedances of background concentrations and/or protection standards in groundwater may result in facility closure and corrective actions.
Gradient has more than a decade of experience working with the utility industry to evaluate a wide range of coal-ash related issues. As the deadlines of the CCR rule approach, Gradient can assist utilities with:
- CCR Rule compliance;
- Groundwater monitoring system design;
- Statistical evaluation of groundwater concentration data;
- Background concentration evaluations and alternate source evaluations;
- Surface impoundment closure evaluations; and
- Public communication.
If you have any questions about compliance with the new Federal CCR Rule or how Gradient can help, please visit our website or contact us.