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Environmental Perspectives Newsletter - Coal Ash


May 27, 2010

Exponent is pleased to feature the latest edition of the Environmental Perspectives Newsletter, which includes the feature article, “Coal Ash: Hazard, Waste, or Resource?”

The catastrophic failure of the ash retention pond at the Tennessee Valley Authority’s Kingston power plant in December 2008 brought the issues associated with coal ash onto front pages of newspapers, and into public discussion. As that incident demonstrated, the sheer volume of material in ash retention ponds can represent a hazard if the retaining structures fail. Though EPA had previously (in 1993 and again in 2000) reviewed the classification of coal combustion products (CCP) and had not changed its hazardous waste exemption, the agency is once again reviewing the RCRA designation of coal ash. A change in the classification would affect current beneficial uses of CCP. In this article, we provide a brief review of CCP (fly ash and bottom ash) and describe its potential environmental and health hazards.

Read more about coal ash.