Splitting the Difference on Coal Ash

Industry wins exemption for ‘beneficial use’ but faces tighter rules on impoundments and landfills.

The EPA only has limited authority to implement and enforce a Subtitle D nonhazardous waste rule, like the coal combustion residuals rule. As a result, EPA had to promulgate the standards as “minimum federal criteria” that states are encouraged to adopt as part of their Subtitle D programs (but EPA cannot actually require states to adopt or implement these requirements.) Nonetheless, the new minimum criteria do indeed serve as legal standards that an owner or operator of a coal combustion residuals disposal unit must meet.