EC Waste and Coal Ash: In Compliance with Federal and Puerto Rico Law
- EC Waste’s Peñuelas Valley Landfill (PVL) and El Coqui Landfill (ECL) in Humacao, are fully compliant and state-of-the-art facilities, have Permits and Operation Plans duly approved by the Environmental Quality Board (EQB) (Permit No. IDF-57-0020 for PVL and Permit No. IDF-36-0016 for ECL) which allow, among other things, the use and disposal of Coal Combustion Residuals (CCRs).
- PVL is approved to use CCRs for solidification of non-hazardous liquid waste, as well as final disposal, and is also considering several other beneficial uses for products made from CCRs, like encapsulated berm construction for the landfill. ECL is approved for receipt, final disposal or use of products made from CCRs, like Agremax, which has beneficial uses like construction of encapsulated berms for cell construction.
- EC Waste’s facilities are regularly inspected by the EQB and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to ensure our operations remain safe and compliant. Both facilities are constructed and operated in full compliance with environmental regulations using practices that fully protect the environment, our employees, our visitors and the community.
What is Coal Ash?
- Coal Combustion Residuals (CCRs), commonly known as coal ash, are byproducts of the combustion of coal used to produce electrical power, steam production and other industrial processes. There are several different types of materials produced, including: fly ash and bottom ash.
Safe and Approved
- The EPA has determined that when used or disposed of in compliance with federal standards, CCRs pose no significant public health concerns.[i] Beginning in 1988 and continuing through 2015, the EPA extensively studied potential concerns on the use and disposal of these materials. The conclusion was that CCRs are not hazardous waste and do not need to be regulated as hazardous waste under Subtitle C of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA).[ii]
- The EPA has stated in regards to coal ash that the “beneficial use of coal ash can produce positive environmental, economic and performance benefits such as reduced use of virgin resources, lower greenhouse gas emissions, reduced cost of coal ash disposal, and improved strength and durability of materials.”[iii]
- The science supporting the EPA’s position on coal ash is broad and varied from the Electrical Power Research Institute[iv], Texas A&M University[v], the Bulletin of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology[vi] and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)[vii], among others.
[i] U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, “Frequently Asked Questions About the Coal Ash Disposal Rule” https://www.epa.gov/coalash/frequent-questions-about-coal-ash-disposal-rule
[iv] Electrical Power Research Institute, “Coal Ash Toxicity”. October 9, 2012. http://www.epri.com/abstracts/Pages/ProductAbstract.aspx?ProductId=000000000001026767
[v] Saylak, et al. “Evaluation of the Use of Coal Combustion By-Products in Highway and Airfield Pavement Construction”, Texas A&M University, Texas Transportation Institute. November 1996. http://d2dtl5nnlpfr0r.cloudfront.net/tti.tamu.edu/documents/2969-1F.pdf
[vi] Zhang, et al. “Solubility of Trace Elements and Heavy Metals from Stabilized Sewage Sludge by Fly Ash.” Bulletin of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology. November 2009, Volume 83, Issue 5. http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs00128-009-9794-5
[vii] U.S. Geological Fact Sheet FS-163-97, October, 1997 http://pubs.usgs.gov/fs/1997/fs163-97/FS-163-97.html