SCS Engineers will participate in the ACAA Annual Fall Membership meeting, which is now virtual and has been moved to Tuesday, November 17 and Thursday, November 19. On both days, the meeting will begin at 2:00 P.M. and conclude at 4:30 EST.
The meeting will include reports from the Communications and Membership Committee, Technical Committee, and Government Relations Committee. In addition, four special presentations will be included on carbon capture, climate change impacts in 2020, the impacts of the November 3 election on likely environmental regulatory activity, and likely economic impacts from the November 3 election.
Participation available to ACAA members.
Partial Reprint of EPA Press Release
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) finalized several changes to the regulations for coal combustion residuals on July 29, 2020. Known as CCR or coal ash, the regulations implement the court’s vacatur of certain closure requirements as well as adding provisions that enhance the public’s access to information about the management of coal ash at electric utilities.
The final rule specifies that all unlined surface impoundments are required to retrofit or close, not just those that have detected groundwater contamination above regulatory levels.
The rule also changes the classification of compacted-soil lined or “clay-lined” surface impoundments from “lined” to “unlined,” which means that formerly defined clay-lined surface impoundments are no longer considered lined surface impoundments and need to be retrofitted or closed.
Additionally, the rule establishes a revised date, April 11, 2021, by which unlined surface impoundments and units that failed the aquifer location restriction must cease receiving waste and initiate closure or retrofit. EPA determined this new feasible date after a thorough review of the construction timeline information submitted during the public comment period.
The regulations in place to detect, assess, and remediate impacts on groundwater from CCR in surface impoundments and landfills remain in place and implementation continues on schedule. The 2015 requirements for facility inspection, monitoring, recordkeeping and reporting requirements are unchanged except for [website and reporting} enhancements [for] public access to information.
EPA is also finalizing revisions to the alternative closure provisions that would grant certain facilities additional time to develop alternative capacity to manage their waste streams (including additional waste – primarily non-CCR wastewater – generated at the facility) before they must stop receiving waste and initiate closure of their surface impoundments.
For a Fact Sheet visit the EPA website.
EUEC 2020: The Energy, Utility & Environment Conference and Exhibition, is set to proceed as a VIRTUAL CONFERENCE, with remote access to EUEC 2020, using a brand new EUEC Mobile App that will be active April 15, 2020.
You can Register as a “Virtual Attendee” giving you the ability to network and learn all from the comfort of your mobile device.
The conference will include presentations on numerous tracks:
A variety of CCB/CCP related topics guaranteed to enhance your knowledge. Click the title to read or share these papers.
Jeff Marshall – Mitigating Hydrogen Sulfide Issues at Coal Combustion Residuals and Municipal Solid Waste Co-disposal Sites – Learn about the biological, chemical and physical conditions necessary for FGD decomposition and hydrogen sulfide generation. Marshall will explore technologies that remove and treat hydrogen sulfide from landfill gas and present recommendations for reducing the potential for FGD decomposition at co-disposal facilities.
Eric Nelson and Lindsay Motl – Working Through Location Restrictions to Expand the Ottumwa Midland Landfill – The final Coal Combustion Residual (CCR) rule introduces new challenges for companies developing new landfills or expanding existing sites. Join us to learn how Alliant Energy overcame these challenges and expanded the Ottumwa Midland Landfill (OML) to accommodate increased byproduct disposal rates from new emission control projects.
Steve Lamb and Floyd Cotter – Selecting the Right Closure Cap Option for Your Surface Impoundment or CCR Landfill – Alternative capping options have recently emerged in the industry, such as exposed geomembrane liners or synthetic turf/geomembrane liner systems. Some of these alternative capping options have many advantages over their traditional counterparts. These experts describe the advantages and disadvantages of alternative capping options.
Alliant Energy wanted to consolidate coal combustion residuals waste at its Ottumwa Midland Landfill in Ottumwa, Iowa, but the site was quickly running out of capacity. To create a sustainable, long-lasting landfill with the capacity to support its operations for the next 25 years, Alliant carefully assessed how to best use the available land at the site.
Learn how Alliant Energy worked with SCS Engineers achieving its vision and is now in a position to build on its success.
On Friday, Dec. 16, 2016, President Obama signed The Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation Act or the “WIIN Act.” Section 2301 of the WIIN Act allows states to establish permit programs to regulate the disposal of coal combustion residuals (CCR) units in lieu of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) CCR regulations and published at 40 CFR 257, Subpart D, also known as the federal CCR rule, that were effective as of October 19, 2015.
Under the federal CCR rule, enforcement has been through citizen suits brought under Section 7002 of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). Following WIIN, for CCR disposal facilities operating under an approved permit program, citizen enforcement will be replaced by more traditional state and federal enforcement authorities. It will take time for states to apply for permit authority and to issue permits, and in the meantime the federal CCR rule will continue to be enforced by citizen suits, and utilities will be subject to potentially conflicting interpretations of what is required to comply at a given facility.
Other CCR-related highlights from the WIIN Act include:
The WIIN Act that was passed by the U.S. Congress on Dec. 10, 2016, is based on CCR legislation that has been introduced in the House of Representatives and Senate in various forms over the past 6 years with the support of many in the utility industry. The WIIN Act has been lauded by the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works and utility groups alike.
“This new permitting authority fixes the main problems with the recent coal ash regulation issued by the Environmental Protection Agency, by removing citizen suits as the sole means of enforcement and allowing states to tailor permit requirements on a case-by-case basis.”
“The coal ash language will ensure that states have the authority and flexibility they need to regulate coal ash while protecting the environment as much as the current EPA coal combustion residuals rule,” said APPA Vice President of Government Relations and Counsel Desmarie Waterhouse.
Coal Ash Language Backed by APPA Is Headed to President’s Desk
“…these legislative provisions will enable states to be more involved in the permitting process for the closure of basins.”
“The bill also injects greatly needed certainty into the regulation of coal ash by giving states clear permitting and enforcement authority and reducing litigation, while providing for its continued beneficial use.”
SCS Engineers will continue to track the WIIN Act and provide you with updates as states consider and make known their approach to developing a CCR permit program, or not.
For questions about the Act or more information, please contact:
Or contact your local SCS Engineers office.
Jeff Marshall, PE, SCS Engineers will be presenting the topic of Hydrogen Sulfide Issues at CCR and MSW Co-Disposal Sites during the EREF and NWRA sponsored Coal Ash Management Forum in July.
The co-disposal of municipal solid waste and coal combustion residuals – particularly flue gas desulfurization (FGD) material – poses a significant concern regarding the generation of hydrogen sulfide gas. Hydrogen sulfide has an exceptionally low odor threshold, and can pose serious health concerns at higher concentrations. This presentation will identify the biological, chemical and physical conditions necessary for FGD decomposition and hydrogen sulfide generation. Recommendations for reducing the potential for FGD decomposition at co-disposal facilities will be presented. Technologies for the removal and treatment of hydrogen sulfide from landfill gas will also be addressed.
Jeff Marshall, PE, is a Vice President of SCS Engineers and the Practice Leader for Environmental Services in the Mid-Atlantic region. He also serves as the SCS National Expert for Innovative Technologies. He has a diversified background in environmental engineering and management, with emphasis on the chemical and human health aspects of hazardous materials and wastes. Mr. Marshall’s experience with hydrogen sulfide, odors, sulfate decomposition in landfills, and ash issues includes scores of projects dating back to the 1980s.
by Mike McLaughlin, P.E.
Coal combustion residuals (CCR) are one of the nation’s largest industrial waste streams, with more than 100 million tons produced annually. Roughly 40 percent of CCR produced is used beneficially, with the remainder disposed in landfills and surface impoundments.
Public and private waste management facilities will have new customers, as utilities that formerly operated their own disposal facilities seek reliable offsite disposal capacity. The cost of managing CCR is going up—EPA estimates the annual costs of its new CCR standards will be between $500 million and $750 million. Other estimates are as high as $2 billion.
However, before accepting CCR materials, MSWLFs should make sure they have modified procedures and otherwise accounted for the unique characteristics of CCR. CCR can have high sulfur content (on the order of 10,000 to 40,000 ppm), and under the right circumstances sulfur compounds can form hydrogen sulfide if CCR is mixed with MSW. To the extent high-sulfur wastes are disposed under conditions that can produce hydrogen sulfide, those conditions should either be controlled (or avoided), or appropriate precautions taken to manage the resulting hydrogen sulfide gas in gas collection and other systems.
There could be other reasons for segregating CCR. For example, placing CCR in a monofill areas might increase the potential for later beneficial use, especially if the materials can be kept dry. Moisture content is a critical factor affecting CCR use in pozzolanic cements, but not all ash materials are suitable for pozzolanic cement in any case. CCR also can affect structural stability of fill mass, operation of gas and leachate collection systems (e.g., through clogging with fines), and dust generation.
Read the entire Technical Bulletin by clicking here.