Most of you will recall the EPA is considering whether CCRs that are not designated for beneficial reuse (such as fly ash in concrete) should be regulated as a Hazardous Waste or Household Garbage. There are nuances to the ruling but that is the crux and either way beneficial reuse would still be allowed. One of the raging debates is whether a hazardous designation will hamper or encourage higher recycling and reuse rates. Now the House of Representatives has introduced a bill that would undermine the EPA ruling and comment process and their authority to regulate or not regulate based on considered analysis of science, economics, public comments and existing law.
The following link to a short article provides an interesting and concise update (and I’ve pasted some excerpts as a teaser):
“ “During my 10 years working for the hazardous waste disposal industry, I noticed that hazardous waste disposal companies lost market share over time to recyclers and beneficial users,” according to Scott Slesinger, now legislative director for the Natural Resources Defense Council. “Market economics made this obvious — the higher cost of disposal led to finding cheaper alternatives.”
H.R. 1391, the “Recycling Coal Combustion Residuals Accessibility Act of 2011,” would prevent the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency from regulating coal combustion residuals, abbreviated as CCRs and often called “coal ash,” under the hazardous waste subtitle of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act.
That would leave only one of two approaches the agency proposed in June 2010: regulating CCRs in the same manner as household garbage.….
….In an April 14 House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Committee hearing prompted by McKinley’s bill, Mathy Stanislaus, Assistant Administrator for the EPA’s Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response, expressed the agency’s concern about the bill.
“We want to make an informed ruling,” Stanislaus said. “This would remove that one option and not allow us to make our decision based on all the data and the 450,000 comments.” ”