Monday, May 07, 2012

Environmental Groups Target Coal Ash Disposal

Environmental groups have asked a federal court to compel EPA to finalize rules regulating the disposal of coal combustion residuals (CCR) under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). They are joined by a manufacturer and marketer of products made with recycled coal ash who alleges, in a companion suit, that the agency is harming its business by not acting to finalize rules proposed nearly two years ago.

Coal ash is beneficially used in a variety of products, including construction materials like concrete, cement, and roofing materials, and the beneficial use industry is concerned about the potential economic impacts that would result if coal ash is designated as a RCRA hazardous substance.

At the same time, the new rules would have a substantial financial impact on firms that generate, transport, and dispose of coal combustion residuals. Indeed, EPA estimates that its proposed rules would have annualized regulatory compliance costs between $587 million to $1.4 billion, while industry trade groups estimate that the rule’s potential costs could be three to four times higher. (Marten Law)

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