Storage, Impoundments, and Beneficial Use of Coal Ash Separate Rulemaking Package
Purpose • To adopt many of the recommendations of the National Academy of Sciences in their 2006 report, Managing Coal Combustion Residues in Mines. • To formalize through regulation DEP’s policies on coal ash certification and use at mine sites
Chapter 290 Beneficial Use of Coal Ash
§ 290.1 - Scope • Beneficial use of coal ash. • Beneficial use of coal ash mixed with RW, if authorized under RW permit. • Beneficial use of coal ash mixed with C&D waste, if authorized under MW permit. • Beneficial use of ash from co-firing coal and alternative fuel, if authorized under RW permit.
§ 290.1 – Scope • Prohibits beneficial use of coal ash mixed with other types of MW by direct placement into the environment • Other types of beneficial use of coal ash mixed with other types of MW may be authorized under a MW permit.
Subchapter B. Beneficial Use of Coal Ash • Uses of coal ash regulations currently found in § § 287.662 – 287.666 is moved into this subchapter, with modifications.
§ 290.101 General Requirements • Must not exceed maximum leachate limits in § 290.201(a). • Must satisfy the physical characteristics in § 290.201(a) for its intended use. • Water quality monitoring plan required if >10,000 tons/acre or >100,000 tons coal ash to be used for a project. • may not be placed within 8 ft of the water table unless DEP approves for use at a mining activity site.
§ 290.102 – Structural Fill • Deed notice for >10,000 tons per acre. • Public notice for >10,000 tons per acre or >100,000 tons. • Spread and compacted within 24 hours or stored in accordance with Subchapter E. • Minimum compaction standard. • Prohibited within 300 ft of exceptional value wetland. • Annual report where >10,000 tons per acre are used.
§ 290.103 – Soil Substitute or Soil Additive • Requires calcium carbonate equivalency to be at least 10%. • Added maximum cumulative loading rates for metals.
§ 290.104 – Use at Permitted Coal Mining Activity Sites • Meet qualification under § 290.201. • Deed notice. • Annual permit filing fee of $2000. • Public notice under §§ 86.31 or 86.54. • Minimization of offsite dust dispersion from coal ash.
§ 290.104 – Coal Surface Mining or Coal Refuse Reprocessing Site • Spread and compacted within 24 hours or stored in accordance with Subchapter E. • Minimum compaction standard. • Horizontal layers to be no greater than 2 ft thick, unless approved by DEP.
§ 290.104 – Other Requirements • Maximum cumulative loading rates apply when used as a soil substitute or soil additive. • No longer allows the volume of coal ash to be used at coal refuse disposal sites to exceed the volume of coal refuse. • Requires annual report.
§ 290.105 – Use at Abandoned Coal Surface Mine Sites • Meet qualification under § 290.201. • Modified request requirements to include reclamation plan, deed notice, water quality monitoring plan, if applicable, and public notice if >10,000 tons per acre or >100,000 tons for project. • Distinguished coal ash used under a DEP contract from those approved based on a request.
§ 290.105 – Use at Abandoned Coal Surface Mine Sites • Meet qualification under § 290.201. • Similar operating requirements to structural fill, including pH, slope, compaction thickness, storage, runoff, surface water diversion and soil cover. • Similar siting restrictions to structural fill, including distance to streams, water supply, sinkholes, floodplains and wetlands. • Maximum cumulative loading rates apply when used as a soil substitute or soil additive. • Requires annual report.
§ 290.106 – Other Beneficial Uses of Coal Ash • Uses unchanged from current § 287.665. • Requires coal ash to be utilized within 24 hours or stored in accordance with Subchapter E.
Subchapter C. Coal Ash Qualification • Coal ash certification is moved from technical guidance into regulation. • Renamed qualification.
§ 290.201 – Coal Ash Qualification: Standards • Maximum leachate standards 25x the waste classification standard (WCS), as defined in § 287.1 for metals and the WCS for cations and non-metals. • Provides for qualification at specific mine sites for higher standards for those based on SMCLs (Al, Cl, Fe, Mn, SO42-, Ag, Zn) when no adverse effects to water and when will be overall benefit to GW quality.
§ 290.201 – Coal Ash Qualification: Standards • For use in mine backfilling, alkaline addition and as low-permeability material, the pH of the coal ash must be above 7.0. • For use as an alkaline additive, the calcium carbonate equivalency (CCE) must be at least 10%. • For use as a low permeable material, the hydraulic conductivity must be <10-6cm/sec.
§ 290.201 – Coal Ash Qualification: Request • Which beneficial uses. • Chemical analysis - least 4 samples over 2-6 month period. • Total and leachable concentrations using EPA methods [SPLP (EPA Method 1312) or other method approved by DEP for leachate]. • Optimum moisture content and dry density (Proctor Test), permeability, neutralization potential.
§ 290.201 – Coal Ash Qualification: Monitoring • Submit results for analysis of at least one sample every 3 months. • Any time there is a significant change in operation of the combustion unit or fuel source. • Annual report from generator and person using coal ash showing amount of coal ash produced for beneficial use and locations where it was delivered.
§ 290.202 – Revocation of Qualification • Failure of generator to comply with monitoring requirements. • Results from analyses consistently exceed qualification criteria. • There are physical or chemical characteristics that make coal ash unsuitable for beneficial use.
§ 290.202 – Revocation of Qualification • If qualification is revoked, coal ash can no longer be used at a mine site until re-qualification is requested and granted. • To be re-qualified, generator must demonstrate analysis on 3 recent monthly samples meets the qualification requirements and no other physical or chemical characteristic make the coal ash unsuitable.
Subchapter D: Water Quality Monitoring • New Subchapter. • Applicable to more beneficial use sites than permitted mine sites.
§ 290.301 – Water Quality Monitoring • Minimum 12 monthly background samples. • Quarterly monitoring during placement and 5 years after final placement and annually for 5 additional years. • Monitoring parameters identified. Additional parameters may be required based on site conditions. • Monitoring data to be submitted quarterly.
§ 290.302 –Monitoring Points • Minimum of 1 upgradient and 3 downgradient GW monitoring points. • DEP may allow springs, seeps and mine discharges to substitute for wells. • Surface water monitoring points. • Location of monitoring points must not interfere with site operations. • Downgradient wells located to provide early detection of effects on GW from ash placement.
§ 290.303 – Standards for Wells and Casings of Wells • This section contains design requirements for monitoring well, including casing, screens, packing, sealing, protective casing, grouting, collar, material, locking cap, etc.
§ 290.304 – Groundwater Assessment Plan • Since the assessment plan pertains to both groundwater and surface water, we will be dropping groundwater out of the title and clarifying in this section, as well as in § 290.305, that assessments and abatements can cover both groundwater and surface water.
§ 290.304 – Assessment Plan Required if: • Monitoring indicates significant change in the downgradient quality GW of SW. • Analysis of water supply indicates contamination of GW or SW that could reasonably be attributed to the coal ash placement. Not required if: • Resampling shows degradation did not occur. • Degradation was caused by seasonal variations or activities unrelated to placement of coal ash.
§ 290.304 – Assessment Plan • Includes the elements of a plan. • Requires implementation and completion within 6 months or other time frame specified by DEP. • DEP can modify inadequate plan. • If contamination is leaving site, must notify downgradient water supplies within ½ mi. • Within 45 days of assessment, submit report with new data, analysis of data, and recommendations on the need for abatement.
§ 290.305 – Abatement Plan • Required if assessment or monitoring shows an abatement standard not being met. • Must be prepared by licensed professional geologist and include a schedule of implementation and the methods to abate degradation and prevent future degradation. • Submitted to DEP for approval within 90 days of when obligation arises. • Implemented within 60 days of DEP approval. • DEP can modify inadequate plan. • Has provisions if plan found to be inadequate after approval or implementation.
§ 290.306 – Recordkeeping • Records of monitoring data, evaluations and GW elevations are to be retained for 3 years after water quality monitoring ceases.
Subchapter E – Coal Ash Storage • New Subchapter. • Covers storage in piles and surface impoundments.
§ 290.401 – Design and Operation • Use best engineering design and construction. • Do not exceed design capacity. • Water quality monitoring may be required if potential to cause groundwater degradation. • Routine inspection and keep records of inspections for 3 yr.
§ 290.402 – Duration of Storage • In general, no longer that it takes to complete project or 90 days, whichever is less, at the site of beneficial use. • Bottom ash as antiskid may be stored 90 days if specified provisions are met. • May not be stored at other areas for >1 yr unless 75% is processed for beneficial use in past yr. • May not be stored >90 days unless on floor or pad and either in building or where runoff is collected and treated.
§ 290.403 – Surface and Groundwater Protection • Minimize runoff and run-on. • Storage may not be in a manner that causes GW degradation
§ 290.404 – Areas Where Storage is Prohibited • This section contains isolation distances from streams, wetlands, water supplies, sinkholes, etc. for storage impoundments and other coal ash storage facilities.
§ 290.405 – § 290.407 - Storage Piles • Contains provisions for coal ash storage piles, including: • 4 ft separation from water table. • Prevention of dispersion by wind or water erosion. • Design criteria if pad or liner system used. • Leachate and runoff control.
§ 290.409 – § 290.412 and § 290.414 Storage Impoundments • Must be permitted under Clean Streams Law. • Design elements specified, including single composite liner and leachate collection system. • Operating requirements include fugitive dust control, coal ash removal in manner not to damage liner, no accumulation speculatively. • Requirements if impoundment fails. • Inspections by DEP.
§ 290.413 – Storage Areas - Closure • Remove all coal ash and materials containing coal ash. • Regrade and revegetate as required by DEP.