The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published the final rule for the regulation and management of coal combustion residuals (CCR) under subtitle D of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) on April 17, 2015. The rule – effective on October 19, 2015 – applies to electric utilities and independent power producers that fall within NAICS code 221112 and the facility produces or stores CCR materials in surface impoundments or landfills. This regulation applies to the City of Grand Island’s coal-fired power plant – Platte Generating Station (PGS). The CCR rule requires owners or operators of CCR landfills and CCR surface impoundments to develop plans, reports, demonstrations, and notifications that meet the requirements of the CCR rule.
Coal ash, also referred to as coal combustion residuals or CCRs, is produced primarily from the burning of coal in coal-fired power plants. Coal ash includes a number of by-products produced from burning coal, including:
- Fly Ash, a very fine, powdery material composed mostly of silica made from the burning of finely ground coal in a boiler.
- Bottom Ash, a course angular ash particle that forms in the bottom of the coal furnace.
- Boiler Slag, molten bottom ash from slag tap and cyclone type furnaces that turns into pellets that have a smooth glassy appearance after it is cooled with water.
- Flue Gas Desulfurization Material, or sometimes called scrubber ash, a material left over from the process of reducing sulfur dioxide emissions from a coal-fired boiler that can be a wet material consisting of calcium sulfite or calcium sulfate or a dry powdered material that is a mixture of sulfites and sulfates.
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