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EPA/OLEM RIN: 2050-AG98 Publication ID: Fall 2019 
Title: Hazardous and Solid Waste Management System: Disposal of Coal Combustion Residuals From Electric Utilities; Enhancing Public Access to Information; Reconsideration of Beneficial Use Criteria and Piles 

On April 17, 2015, EPA promulgated national minimum criteria for existing and new coal combustion residuals (CCR) landfills and surface impoundments (2015 CCR rule). Following promulgation of this rule, stakeholders have raised issues related to specific requirements of the final rule. On March 15, 2018, EPA proposed several changes to the 2015 CCR rule in a rulemaking titled "Phase 1." In this action, EPA is proposing additional targeted changes to the 2015 CCR rule and soliciting comment on other issues. Included in this action are proposals addressing two provisions of the 2015 CCR rule that were remanded back to EPA by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit on August 21, 2018. Specifically, EPA is proposing changes to the beneficial use definition and the requirements for managing piles of CCR.

Agency: Environmental Protection Agency(EPA)  Priority: Other Significant 
RIN Status: Previously published in the Unified Agenda Agenda Stage of Rulemaking: Proposed Rule Stage 
Major: No  Unfunded Mandates: No 
EO 13771 Designation: Regulatory 
CFR Citation: 40 CFR 257   
Legal Authority: 42 U.S.C. 6906    42 U.S.C. 6907    42 U.S.C. 6912(a)    42 U.S.C. 6944    42 U.S.C. 6945(c)   
Legal Deadline:  None

Statement of Need:

On April 17, 2015, EPA finalized national regulations to regulate the disposal of Coal Combustion Residuals (CCR) as solid waste under subtitle D of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) (2015 CCR final rule). The rule was challenged by several different parties, including a coalition of regulated entities and a coalition of public interest environmental organizations. On August 21, 2018, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit issued its opinion in the case of Utility Solid Waste Activities Group, et al v. EPA, 901 F.3d 414 (DC Cir 2018). The court vacated three provisions from the 2015 CCR final rule and remanded back to EPA the 12,400 threshold in the beneficial use definition and the requirements for managing piles of CCR. This proposed rule addresses the two remanded provision from the court's decision.

Summary of the Legal Basis:

This action addresses the two remanded provisions from USWAG v. EPA , 901 F.3d 414, that is, the 12,400 threshold in the beneficial use definition and the requirements for managing piles of CCR.


Each of these issues is fairly narrow in scope and we have not identified any significant alternatives for analysis.

Anticipated Costs and Benefits:

The economic assessment estimates that the net annualized impact of this proposed regulatory action over a 40-year period of analysis will be annual costs of between $0.43 million and $3.8 million. The costs are roughly evenly attributable to the proposed change to the beneficial use criterion 4 and the proposed amendments for the annual groundwater monitoring and corrective action reports.


Compared with the risks to human health and the environment that were presented in the 2015 CCR final rule, the proposed amendments discussed in this action are not expected to impact the overall conclusions in the 2015 CCR final rule. As a result, the Agency believes these amendments, if finalized as proposed, would be protective of human health and the environment.

Action Date FR Cite
NPRM  08/14/2019  84 FR 40353   
NPRM Comment Period End  10/15/2019 
Final Rule  04/00/2020 
Additional Information: Docket #:EPA-HQ-OLEM-2018-0524
Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: No  Government Levels Affected: Federal, Local, State 
Small Entities Affected: No  Federalism: No 
Included in the Regulatory Plan: Yes 
RIN Information URL:  
Sectors Affected: 221112 Fossil Fuel Electric Power Generation 
RIN Data Printed in the FR: No 
Agency Contact:
Frank Behan
Environmental Protection Agency
Office of Land and Emergency Management
5304P, 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue NW,
Washington, DC 20460
Phone:703 308-8476

Jesse Miller
Environmental Protection Agency
Office of Land and Emergency Management
1200 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Mail Code 5303P,
Washington, DC 20460
Phone:703 308-1180