On Monday, June 28, 2021, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approved the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality’s (TCEQ) request for delegated permit authority over coal ash disposal under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA).1

The approval allows the TCEQ to issue permits implementing federal standards for ash disposal, groundwater monitoring, technical and siting requirements for facilities, and closure procedures. Note that the TCEQ did not seek EPA approval over alternative closure requirements of coal combustion residuals units or unlined surface impoundments, which remain governed by federal regulations.

Texas is the third state to receive permitting authority from the EPA, after Georgia and Oklahoma. Environmental groups have challenged Oklahoma’s approval in Waterkeeper Alliance, et al., v. Wheeler, et al. It remains to be seen whether there will be any challenges to Texas’ approval.

1 40 C.F.R. § 257.