EPA Admits Landfills Will Improve Faster Without Hazardous Tag

            In proposing two potential approaches for coal ash disposal regulation, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency admits that new landfill standards can be enacted years earlier if the agency does not seek to designate coal ash as hazardous.

            In a side by side comparison of its “Subtitle D” (non-hazardous) and “Subtitle C” (hazardous) approaches, EPA says new landfill standards would be in place within six months of enactment of regulations under Subtitle D.  Under Subtitle C, on the other hand, standards would not be in place for “1 – 2 years or more.”  (See EPA’s own comparison document here:

            The difference in timing does not relate to the engineering standards EPA would impose on landfills.  Those are essentially the same in both approaches.  Instead, the delay in implementation is a product of the regulatory process itself.

            EPA officials and anti-coal environmental groups who favor the Subtitle C approach appear to be willing to sacrifice coal ash recycling and delay implementation of new disposal regulations by years just so they can get federal enforcement authority over all disposal sites. (See previous Citizens for Recycling First blog post here:

            People who are concerned more about the environment than about bureaucratic turf would favor a Subtitle D approach – which gets the same landfill engineering standards in place years earlier and does more to protect coal ash recycling as a preferred alternative to disposal.


Posted by: on: Jul 27, 2010 @ 10:11