EPA rules

Coal Ash Residuals: EPA Requirements vs. TCEQ Requirements Technical Bulletin Summarizes Changes

January 14, 2021

coal ash residual


In implementing the EPA’s federal requirements for Coal Ash Residual – CCR sites, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality’s CCR program needs to be at least as protective as the requirements of the self-implementing federal CCR rules.  The TCEQ also is charged with making the Texas CCR program consistent with other TCEQ regulatory programs. As such, the TCEQ incorporated various provisions of state permitting programs and procedures into Chapter 352.

Whereas many of the EPA’s federal requirements are adopted directly by reference to the federal CCR rules (40 Code of Federal Regulations, as amended through April 17, 2015, issue of the Federal Register (80 FR 21301)), other requirements were tailored and, or expanded to be consistent with TCEQ programs.  Following are select examples correlating the EPA and TCEQ requirements:

  • For location restrictions, as reflected in TCEQ’s rules (i.e., §352.601, .611, .621, .631, and .641), the TCEQ has adopted by reference to the EPA’s rules (i.e., §257.60, .61, .62, .63, and .64).
  • For operating criteria (air, run-on and run-off controls for landfills, hydrologic and hydraulic capacity requirements for surface impoundments, and inspections), as reflected in TCEQ’s rules (i.e., §352.801, .811, .821, .831, and .841), the TCEQ has adopted by referencing the appropriate EPA rules (i.e., §257.80, .81, .82, .83, and .84).
  • For design criteria for CCR landfill liners, as reflected in TCEQ’s rules (i.e., §352.701), the TCEQ has adopted by reference to 40 Code of Federal Regulations §257.70 (Design criteria for new CCR landfills and any lateral expansion of a CCR landfill).
  • For design criteria for CCR surface impoundments, the TCEQ has published state criteria, which must be “…at least as protective as the requirements of the self-implementing federal CCR rules.”
  • Regarding groundwater monitoring and corrective action, the TCEQ has adopted some of the EPA’s rules by reference and tailored others to be consistent with TCEQ’s current rules for waste disposal sites.
  • Financial Assurance. TCEQ’s new rule, 352.1101, requires “…a written cost estimate in current dollars of the total cost of the 30-year post-closure care period to perform post-closure care requirements as prescribed in §352.1241 of this title. The cost estimate shall be based on the costs of hiring a third-party to conduct post-closure care maintenance… Financial assurance shall be established and maintained for the duration of the post-closure care period as prescribed in §352.1241 of this title…”

There were also five provisions of the federal CCR regulations that the TCEQ did not include in its permit program. These are addressed in EPA’S announcement regarding the TCEQ’s application requesting partial approval of their CCR state permit program.  See https://www.epa.gov/coalash/us-state-texas-coal-combustion-residuals-ccr-permit-program


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Posted by Diane Samuels at 6:00 am