On December 19, 2014, EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy signed the “Disposal of Coal Combustion Residuals (CCR) from Electric Utilities” final rule, which established comprehensive requirements for the disposal of coal combustion residuals, also referred to as coal ash. This final ruling was then published in the Federal Register April 17, 2015.
What does the final ruling outline for CCR unit owners and operators?
These requirements are found in the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act under the solid waste provisions, subtitle D, which provides the framework for the ideal management of non-hazardous and hazardous solid waste. More specifically, the ruling created requirements for new and existing CCR landfills and surface impoundments, which includes lateral expansions of any existing structure.
Then, on July 26, 2016, McCarthy signed a direct final rule and additional proposal to lengthen the compliance deadlines for the owners and operators of certain inactive CCR surface impoundments. This ruling was published in the Federal Register August 5, 2016. While the end date for CCR disposal compliance is by 2018, coal ash sampling must begin by 2017.
“McCarthy signed a direct final rule and additional proposal.”
As outlined in the ruling, there are numerous areas in which owners and operators must gain compliance and meet federal standards in regards to reducing the risk of catastrophic failure, protecting groundwater and following prescribed operating criteria. The final ruling also presents requirements for record keeping, notification and internet posting, in addition to guidelines for inactive units, state programs and closure and post-closure of CCR units.
How can EQuIS support federal CCR requirements?
The recordkeeping, notification and internet posting criteria mandates any owner or operator of CCR units to record compliance in the facility’s operating record, and then notify the state of any decisions. They must also regularly maintain a website called “CCR Rule Compliance Data and Information” that contains this publicly available compliance information and ensure it is accessible to the general population. This information must be posted within 30 days of the initial submission of the data to the operating record and must be available online for no less than three years after its posting.
The final ruling provides examples of these instances, such as corrective action reports, closure completion notifications, yearly groundwater monitoring results and fugitive dust control programs. Several EQuIS modules have been customized to provide advanced functional capability supporting CCR data gathering, requirements comparisons and reporting.
“EQuIS 6 Enterprise makes self-reporting simple.”
EQuIS Data Gathering Engine (EDGE) features integrated offline data collection for CCR, along with EDP checks. EQuIS provides calculations derived from state or federal standards and alerts/alarms/agents on the data for web dashboards, emails, or text notification. EDGE also offers GPS location, mapping, and attached, georeferenced drawings, files and voice memos for field data collection activities. With EQuIS, CCR unit compliance is much more automated and less expensive.
EQuIS 6 Enterprise makes self-reporting simple with its dashboards and visual approach to visualization for any CCR unit owner or operator, as it is easy to add new widgets or new facilities to an existing EQuIS system.
With EQuIS Enterprise’s workflow automation, Enterprise users can upload and verify data with Enterprise EDP and automate reports and exports with EZView. They can also configure automatic email alerts and dashboard updates with Environmental Information Agents (EIA), which can be set up as date- or data-driven. (Dashboards can be automatically updated within seconds of new data arriving.)
EDP and Enterprise EDP are the world’s most widely used data quality enforcement tools and customized versions for CCR are under rapid development.
To learn more about how EQuIS workflow solutions can support owners or operators of CCR units, contact one of our representatives today.