Coal Ash

Background

In October 2015, a final rule to regulate coal combustion residuals (CCR) as a non-hazardous waste under Subtitle D of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) became effective. The rule establishes national regulations for the management and disposal of ash from power plants in landfills and surface impoundments.

How it affects Great River Energy

Great River Energy has CCR disposal units at its plants in North Dakota. These facilities are in compliance with existing North Dakota rules that regulate coal ash from its power plants and with the CCR rule.

Great River Energy’s position

Great River Energy supports the EPA’s decision to designate coal ash as a non-hazardous waste. The 2015 rule provided for enforcement through citizen suits. This enforcement approach had the potential to create inconsistent implementation of the rule. In December 2016, the Water Infrastructure Improvements Act for the Nation was signed into law and will allow EPA to delegate the enforcement of the rule’s provisions to states. This legislation creates more consistency and facilitates compliance.

Great River Energy takes seriously the responsibility to protect communities and the environment, and it has found beneficial ways to use ash and other byproducts from its power plants. For example, Great River Energy markets much of the fly ash created at its power plants. This fine ash has numerous industrial applications, such as replacing Portland cement in concrete production. For every ton of Portland cement that is replaced with fly ash, up to one ton of greenhouse gas emissions is avoided.

Each year, Great River Energy sells or donates approximately 400,000 tons of fly ash from its North Dakota operations.


December 15, 2016

Download a PDF of Great River Energy’s Coal Ash Position Statement