Coal Combustion Residuals (CCR)

On October 19, 2015, a new U.S. EPA regulation titled Standards for the Disposal of Coal Combustion Residuals in Landfills and Surface Impoundments became effective. Informally known as the “CCR Rule,” these regulations apply to electric utilities and independent power producers that dispose of coal combustion residuals (CCR) in landfills and surface impoundments. The CCR Rule is written to be “self-implementing” because the U.S. EPA was not authorized under federal law to enforce the program. This changed in 2016 with Congress’ passage of the Water and Waste Act of 2016, which authorizes the U.S. EPA or a state to implement a permit program to enforce the CCR Rule. IDEM is working to develop and gain approval of a CCR permit program.

Utilities are required to post documents and reports relative to the requirements of the CCR Rule to a website they maintain. Links to these websites are provided at the bottom of this page.

The U.S. EPA maintains a website that you can search for more information about coal ash, or you can reference the Coal Comubstion Residuals Fact Sheet (available on the IDEM Fact Sheets page). The CCR Rule is found in 40 CFR 257, Subpart D.

Indiana CCR Regulations and Future Updates

IDEM already has regulations for CCR landfills and surface impoundments in the Solid Waste Land Disposal Facility rules at 329 IAC 10. IDEM is updating these regulations to meet the requirements of the U.S. EPA CCR Rule, with the goal of receiving authorization of a CCR permit program that takes the place of the self-implementing CCR Rule.

As a first step towards updating Indiana’s regulations, on February 10, 2016, the Environmental Rules Board adopted an emergency rule incorporating the U.S. EPA CCR Rule requirements for CCR surface impoundments into 329 IAC 10. The amendments in the emergency rule went through a full rule writing process and became permanent on December 10, 2016.

On February 23, 2017, IDEM adopted an amendment to Indiana’s 40 CFR Part 256 Solid Waste Management Plan [PDF]. It describes IDEM’s plan to update Indiana’s regulations for regulating CCR disposal facilities to standards equivalent to the U.S. EPA Rule. The plan enables IDEM to approve and enforce compliance schedules to extend deadlines in the U.S. EPA CCR Rule under certain circumstances. IDEM received the U.S. EPA’s approval of the plan [PDF] on March 7, 2017.

The plan describes the need for legislation to enable Indiana to regulate uses of CCR, since at the time IC 13-19-3-3 prohibited rules for certain types of disposal and use of CCR. On February 23, 2017, Governor Holcomb signed House Enrolled Act 1230, which amended IC 13-19-3-3 to allow the Indiana Environmental Rules Board to adopt rules consistent with the federal CCR Rule. This legislation is an important step in the plan’s implementation.

As a result of these updates, IDEM was able to initiate rulemaking to propose additional changes to the Indiana CCR standards, offer compliance alternatives and flexibility while at least meeting the federal CCR standards, and establish a permit program for CCR units. This rulemaking began with the First Notice of Comment Period [PDF] beginning December 6, 2017, and ending January 5, 2018. However, in response to a request from an interested party, IDEM is providing an additional 30 days for submission of comments on the rulemaking. Comments are now due on February 23, 2018. We welcome your input regarding this rulemaking.

Compliance at Indiana’s Power Plants

Public notices related to IDEM’s review of CCR impoundment closure plans, including public comment periods and final decisions are available on the IDEM Public Notices site. Public Involvement for In-Place Surface Impoundment Closures [PDF] details IDEM’s recommendations regarding public involvement in the closure of surface impoundments.

If you want to review the reports submitted by Indiana power plants to comply with the U.S. EPA CCR Rule, visit their websites:

Subscriptions

Do you want to know about new CCR information as soon as it is posted? You can subscribe to this page to receive an email or text message every time IDEM updates it. Just enter your email address or phone number on the IDEM Subscription Sign Up page and check the box for Coal Combustion Residuals (CCR).