EPA Re-evaluating Benefits of Coal Ash Reuse

Date: July 12, 2010

Source: News Room

EPA is re-evaluating its voluntary Coal Combustion Products Partnership (C2P2), which promotes industry partnerships to encourage recycling of coal waste, after environmentalists accused the program of overstating its greenhouse gas (GHG) benefits. Consequently, the agency posted a notice on the site's web pages saying the "pages have been removed while the program is being re-evaluated." In May, EPA suspended its partnership in the program amid concern that it would interfere with its proposal to issue first-time Resource Conservation & Recovery Act (RCRA) rules to regulate coal waste.

An environmental group Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) recently accused the agency of making "false claims" about GHG reductions in a July 1 petition that asks EPA to rescind and correct information about GHG emissions reductions from the beneficial reuse of coal ash, saying that the agency had failed to consider GHGs associated with mining and burning coal in the first place. In general, EPA and its administrator Lisa Jackson have favored an approach to regulating coal ash disposal that encourages continued beneficial reuse, but has recently expressed concerns about some uses of CCR in unencapsulated forms, such as the use of CCR in road embankments and agricultural applications.

Sign up to receive our free Weekly News Bulletin