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Coal Combustion Residuals

APTIM has been active with many energy companies to begin the process of implementing the coal combustion residuals (CCR) rule and completing closure construction of ash impoundments and landfills from the solid waste perspective.

What is Coal Ash? What is CCR?

In the context of power plant operations, the burning of coal produces coal ash, or coal combustion residuals (CCR), which includes several byproducts like fly ash, bottom ash, boiler slag, and flue gas desulfurization material. Depending on the byproduct, waste minimization processes at the plant, or federal and state coal ash regulations, CCR can be disposed of into coal ash landfills or recycled to protect the environment. Disposing of CCR can be tricky as it contains contaminants like mercury, cadmium, and arsenic. Without a proper plan to manage disposal, these contaminants can pollute the air as well as nearby waterways, groundwater, and drinking water.

In April 2015, the EPA published its Disposal of CCR from Electric Utilities final rule in the Federal Register. The rule regulates the safe disposal of coal ash from coal-fired power plants. As rules and regulations around coal ash landfills and surface impoundments become stricter, owners and operators of these plants face many challenges.

With looming changes to rules and regulations, it’s important for coal-fired power plants to understand their obligations. First, to know where they stand, and second, to have a clear compliance path moving forward. Learn more about the EPA’s January 2022 update to actions on the CCR rule.

APTIM Professional Services and Construction for Coal Combustion Residuals

The CCR Rule establishes technical requirements for coal ash landfills and surface impoundments under subtitle “D” of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, the central federal regulatory program governing recycling and disposal of solid waste. APTIM has some the brightest and most experienced professionals in the business. Our goal is to guide each client through the coal ash regulations for compliance in alignment with their sustainability objectives all the way through closure.

Following guidelines in the CCR Rule, ash storage ponds (where CCR are stored) that required additional testing of groundwater and an assessment of corrective measures (ACM) were identified. This process identifies what potential actions can be taken where constituents were found at statistically significant levels above site-specific groundwater protection standards. The process included two years of groundwater monitoring to confirm that constituents above groundwater protection standards exist in onsite monitoring wells. In general, levels of constituents are stable, and in some cases decreasing.

The rule requires that a coal ash basin close if it:

  • No longer receives coal ash;
  • Does not meet certain EPA structural standards;
  • Does not meet certain EPA groundwater standards;
  • Or, does not comply with EPA’s location restrictions.

APTIM provides a full range of CCR / Environmental Construction services to all sectors of the power industry as well as public and private customers. These services include the following:

  • Basin Release / Emergency Response
  • Beneficial Reuse Support
  • Corrective Action / Remedial Design Installation and Construction
  • Delineation, Removal, and Cleanup
  • Dewatering / Water Management
  • Environmental Treatment Systems
  • Groundwater Extraction and Treatment
  • Handling, Management, Transportation, and Disposal
  • HDPE Pipe Conveyance System Installation
  • Landfill Closure: Closure / Cap in place and closure by removal
  • New Landfill/Impoundment Construction
  • Stabilization and Solidification (in-situ and ex-situ)
  • Storm Water Management / Erosion and Sediment Control

Partnering With APTIM To Address and Manage CCR Regulations

APTIM is a leader for innovation and problem solving as coal ash regulations evolve. Our engineers, environmental remediation experts, program managers, and field construction teams can deal with the complex dewatering issues, disposal of waste, search for beneficial solutions to keep money in our clients pockets, and keep the project moving toward it’s intended end. On time and under budget.

APTIM. In Pursuit of Better.

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Learn more about APTIM's capabilities for fossil fuel facility decommissioning and coal combustion residuals construction.