The generation of electricity in coal-based power plants creates a non-hazardous waste called coal combustion residuals (CCRs). Today, more than 40 percent of CCRs are recycled and used in products such as cement, concrete, wallboard, roofing materials, and agricultural applications. The beneficial use of CCRs helps to create jobs and delivers environmental and safety benefits.
The electric power industry strongly supports the regulation of CCRs as a non-hazardous waste in order to strengthen both environmental protection and impoundment safety. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) finalized CCR regulations on April 17, 2015.
To cure the flaws in the new coal ash rule that stem primarily from its self-implementing nature, a broad group of stakeholders—including the utility industry, ash marketers, and the states—are actively supporting congressional efforts to amend RCRA so the CCR rule can be implemented in an effective and practical manner.
Congress should act now to pass legislation that regulates coal ash right while protecting the environment, jobs, and electricity consumers.