On June 24, U.S. EPA proposed to approve Georgia’s permit program for the disposal of coal combustion residuals – commonly known as coal ash – from certain coal-fired power plants. Final approval would make Georgia the second state after Oklahoma to receive federal permission to regulate ash disposal. Georgia proposes to go beyond EPA’s ash standards by incorporating a 2018 appellate court ruling that ordered the agency to strengthen its nationwide ash rule.
In a statement, EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler encouraged other states to follow Georgia’s lead and assume oversight of coal ash management within their borders. The Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation (WIIN) Act of 2016 granted EPA the authority to approve state permit programs.
EPA, which seeks comment on its proposed approval during a 60-day public comment period, will hold a public hearing in Atlanta in August. To learn more, see here.