Coal combustion residuals include wastes produced from the burning of coal for generation of electricity. These wastes include fly ash, bottom ash, boiler slag, and flue gas desulfurization sludge (gypsum). A significant portion of coal combustion residuals are beneficially reused in various industrial processes, including cement and concrete manufacturing, wallboard production and shingles. Other coal combustion residuals are beneficially reused in structural fill applications.
In Kentucky, coal combustion residuals that are not used in industrial processes or structural fill applications are presently disposed in landfills, surface impoundments or returned to coal mines for use in reclamation activities.
In December 2014, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) administrator signed a final rule regarding coal combustion residuals that will become effective upon publication in the Federal Register.
The publication of this rule will change requirements for the disposal of coal ash. At this time, the Solid Waste Program is reviewing the rule and comparing its requirements with those of Kentucky regulations for the disposal of coal combustion residuals. Currently, Kentucky regulations designate coal ash ponds as permits-by-rule as long as they are in compliance with a Kentucky Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (KPDES) permit from the Division of Water.
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