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Greenville, South Carolina, May 9, 2024 – Yesterday, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) published its long-anticipated Legacy Coal Combustion Residuals (CCR) Final Rule in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR). This Final Rule immediately imposes substantial regulatory requirements on the electric power industry, especially those that use fossil fuel-powered plants. The implication of the Final Rule will be immediately felt and will significantly alter the financial and regulatory landscape for power generation.

The Final Rule entitled, “Hazardous and Solid Waste Management System: Disposal of Coal Combustion Residuals From Electric Utilities; Legacy Surface Impoundments”:

  • Expands the scope of coal ash management areas regulated under the federal CCR Rule to include:
    • Legacy impoundments
    • CCR management units (CCRMUs)
    • Regulated units (including certain inactive surface impoundments)
  • Provides alternative closure provisions for units under closure-by-removal, including extending the deadline to complete groundwater remediation
  • Revises closure-in-place performance standards for CCR units
  • Provides technical revisions to CCR regulations

One feature of the Final Rule getting significant attention is the requirement to prepare Facility Evaluation Reports to identify CCRMUs at active facilities and facilities with a legacy CCR impoundment. Part 1 of a Facility Evaluation Report, which will include the results of the collection and review of available data and a plan to address data gaps, will be due to the Operating Record 21 months from Rule Publication (May 8, 2024). Part 2, which will require physical facility inspection and needed fieldwork to fill information gaps identified in Part 1, will be due 33 months after Rule publication.

SynTerra has been providing CCR Rule compliance management support and services to the electric power industry since the original 2015 Rule became effective. SynTerra scientists, geologists, and engineers are thoroughly knowledgeable about the CCR Rule and have the technical expertise and diversity to navigate these challenging regulations. Because each CCP site is different, SynTerra partners with clients to provide comprehensive, integrated solutions that meet compliance requirements.