Management of Coal Combustion Residuals

Safe disposal of coal combustion residuals from power plants

Coal combustion residuals (CCR) are generated by electric utilities and independent power producers from the combustion of coal to produce electricity. CCR includes materials such as fly ash, bottom ash, and boiler slag.

The two most common types of CCR management facilities are landfills, which are used to dispose of dry ash, and surface impoundments, in which CCR settles at the pond bottom. CCR collected for beneficial reuse is in some cases stored in dry ash silos. Surface impoundments are a standard practice for managing CCR.

On April 17, 2015, EPA published a final rule to regulate the disposal of CCR from electric generation facilities as solid waste under subtitle D of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). The rule establishes location restrictions, design criteria, operating criteria, groundwater monitoring and corrective actions, and closure and post-closure care requirements for CCR landfills and surface impoundments. The effective date of the rule is October 19, 2015.