Sources: Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, D.C.; CP staff
An EPA decision on potential regulation of coal ash waste from power plants has been delayed beyond Administrator Lisa Jackson's 2009 year-end target due to the complexity of agency's analysis of the material. That process should determine whether new agency rules would apply mainly to impoundment- or landfill-bound coal ash waste, or all types of coal combustion byproducts, including concrete-grade Class C and Class F fly ash.
EPA began weighing regulatory options following the December 2008 failure of a Tennessee Valley Authority coal ash impoundment near Nashville; the release of millions of cubic yards of sludge destroyed nearby homes and compromised land and surface waters. The agency has overseen the cleanup and is investigating the structural integrity of other ash waste impoundments. In a fall 2009 "60 Minutes" interview, Administrator Jackson revealed little regarding the scope of any forthcoming coal ash handling and storage rules.