EPA to reconsider certain coal ash rule provisions

Coal Ash

WASHINGTON, DC (WTVQ) – The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has granted two petitions to reconsider substantive provisions of the final rule regulating coal combustion residuals (CCR) as nonhazardous waste under subtitle D of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA).

“In light of EPA’s new statutory authority, it is important that we give the existing rule a hard look and consider improvements that may help states tailor their permit programs to the needs of their states, in a way that provides greater regulatory certainty, while also ensuring that human health and the environment remain protected,” said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt.

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In granting the petitions, EPA determined that it was appropriate, and in the public’s interest to reconsider specific provisions of the final CCR rule based in part on the authority provided through the Water Infrastructure for Improvements to the Nation (WIIN) Act. EPA is not committing to changing any part of the rule, or agreeing with the merits of the petition – the Agency is simply granting petitions to reconsider specific provisions. Should EPA decide to revise specific provisions of the final CCR rule, it will go through notice and comment period.

The petition from the Utility Solid Waste Activities Group (USWAG) was submitted May 12, 2017, and seeks reconsideration of 11 specific provisions of the final CCR rule, including provisions prohibiting the use of alternative points of compliance for ground water contamination, regulating inactive surface impoundments, and defining what activities constitute beneficial use of CCR.  The petition from AES Puerto Rico LLP was submitted May 31, 2017, and seeks reconsideration of certain on-site storage practices.

The current rule went into effect on October 19, 2015 and regulates how CCR generated from electric utilities and independent power producers is managed and disposed of in surface impoundments and landfills. The rule also defines what constitutes beneficial use of CCR; and, therefore, is excluded from the rule’s requirements.

In December 2016, the WIIN Act was enacted into law.  Section 2301 of the WIIN Act provides authority for states to operate permit programs under subtitle D of RCRA, as long as the EPA determines that the state’s requirements are as protective as the standards in the 2015 final rule or successor regulations. Should EPA decide to revise specific provisions of the final CCR rule, it will go through a notice and comment process.

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Tom Kenny joined ABC 36 News in June of 2001 as a General Assignment Reporter. A native of Peoria, Illinois, he graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communications from Western Illinois University. He currently anchors ABC 36 News at 5pm, 6pm and 11pm. Tom has more than three decades of experience in broadcast journalism. He is the only broadcast journalist in Lexington television history to be honored with a national Edward R. Murrow Award. Tom was recognized for reporting on a story that gave a rare glimpse inside the secretive world of the Federal Witness Protection Program. He has won an Emmy Award for anchoring and another for investigative reporting, exposing the deceit and potential danger of online diploma mills. Tom has ten other Emmy nominations to his credit for investigative and feature reporting. He has won Associated Press Awards for reporting and anchoring. He has won two Addy Awards for excellence in promotional writing. Tom was the first broadcast journalist in Lexington TV history to be awarded the Silver Circle Award by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. It is one of the highest honors given by NATAS. It recognizes television professionals who have performed distinguished service within the television industry for 25-years or more. Tom was honored for more than his longevity, he was recognized for making an enduring contribution to the vitality of the television industry and for setting high standards of achievement. He was also recognized for giving back to the community as a mentor, educator and volunteer. Tom also has network broadcast experience in radio and television having worked as a sports reporter for ESPN, Sportschannel, NBC Sports and the Breeders’ Cup. He was also the studio host and halftime producer for CBS Radio Sports’ College Football Game of the Week and covered the NFL for One-On-One Radio Sports. Prior to joining WTVQ-TV, Tom was Vice-President of the Houston Astros Minor League baseball team in Lexington. He was part of the original management team that brought professional baseball back to the Bluegrass after a nearly 50-year absence. Tom has lived in Lexington since 1984. In that time, he has been heavily involved with dozens of charity and civic groups, with a special emphasis on helping Veterans. He can be reached at tkenny@wtvq.com. You can also follow Tom on Facebook www.facebook.com/TomKennyABC and Twitter @TomKennyNews. Just click on the links at the top of the page.