As reported in prior issues of the Environmental Newsletter, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is in the process of developing regulations for the management of coal ash produced from coal-fired electric generating units. EPA is under a Dec.19, 2014, judicially-imposed deadline to issue final regulations on a 2010 proposed rule that considered regulating coal ash as a hazardous waste pursuant to Subtitle C of RCRA, or as a nonhazardous waste pursuant to Subtitle D of RCRA.
On April 25, 2014, the United Stated District Court for the District of Columbia rejected a proposed Consent Decree that would have allowed an extension of the Dec.19 deadline without approval of the court. It is anticipated that a revised Consent Decree allowing for extension of the Dec. 19 deadline upon approval by the court will be entered shortly. Earlier in April, EPA Administrator, Gina McCarthy, indicated to Congress that EPA intends to complete the rule by December, but gave no indication of whether coal ash would be regulated as a hazardous or nonhazardous waste.