EPA Issues Interim Final Guidance on Coal Ash Management Programs

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The Environmental Protection Agency has issued interim final guidance on state Coal Combustion Residuals permitting programs. This guidance will help states implement provisions of the Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation (WIIN) Act (P.L. 114-322), which gives states the opportunity to act as the primary regulatory and enforcement authority over coal ash through the establishment of EPA-approved state permit programs.  While these potential permit programs might be in a different part of a state’s organization, some drinking water supplies in some states have been impacted by coal ash spills.

The interim final guidance addresses numerous questions EPA received about the provisions of the WIIN Act, establishes a framework to guide EPA’s approval process, and provides checklists to aid states as they are considering and developing their program submittal.  EPA will take comments for 60 days after publication of the guidance in the Federal Register.  Given some of the recent coal ash spills, some states may want to submit comments on this guidance.