EPA Proposes Amending Coal Ash Rule to Remove Restrictions that Protect the Environment and Public Health

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has proposed amending regulations on coal ash, the residue left after burning coal, which would remove protections from 2015 that restricted use of the ash exceeding 12,400 tons per site without an “environmental demonstration” showing there would be no added environmental risk. Coal ash contains hazardous substances, including arsenic, that can leach into the water supply and harm human health. The proposed amendment would replace the numeric benchmark with location-based criteria. The proposed amendment would also affect the requirements for managing piles of coal ash.

EPA has said it will provide a 60-day comment period which will begin when the rule is published in the Federal Register.