Cochrane & Associates, LLC

Coal Ash Regulations and Protecting Workers, Communities and the Environment from Exposure Risks

Source: Cochrane & Associates, LLC

Clark Seif Clark provides consulting and testing services to protect people and the environment while helping companies and utilities comply with coal ash regulations.

Chatsworth, CA, November 4th, 2019 -- When coal is burned by power plants to produce electricity, coal ash is created. Also known as coal combustion residuals (CCRs), it is one of the largest types of industrial waste generated in the country according to the U.S. Environmental Protection (EPA).


In 2014, coal-fired electric utilities generated approximately 130 million tons of it in the U.S. alone. One year later, the EPA implemented minimum national standards that were established for the location, design and operation of existing and new landfills and surface impoundments containing coal ash at more than 400 coal-fired power plants nationwide.


Coal ash by-products may include fly ash, bottom ash, boiler slag, flue gas desulfurization materials and other substances. Potentially hazardous elements that may be found in coal ash include arsenic, boron, lead, cadmium, chromium, lithium, mercury, molybdenum, thallium and other materials.


The Agency for Toxic Substances & Disease Registry (ATSDR) reports that exposure to coal ash can result in skin irritation and breathing it can result in respiratory irritation as well as irritation of the eyes, nose and throat. Ingestion can cause nausea, vomiting and diarrhea, and some of the compounds found in coal ash can cause cancer after continued long-term ingestion and inhalation according to the agency.


“While some coal ash by-products are reused to make products, such as concrete and gypsum materials, much of it ends up in CCR landfills and surface impoundments where it could potentially contaminate groundwater, become airborne as dust or be a threat if a catastrophic containment failure occurs as has happened a number of times in the past,” said Jeff Bannon, Vice President of Environmental Services at Clark Seif Clark (CSC). “To help safeguard against exposure risks, the environmental and industrial hygiene professionals at CSC offer consulting, testing and monitoring services for coal ash and other types of industrial waste. These services assist companies and utilities in their compliance efforts to protect workers, the public and the environment.”


CSC has also recently sponsored an educational video about coal ash and potential exposure risks that can be seen at:


To learn more about coal ash or other environmental, occupational, air quality, health and safety testing services, please visit, email or call (800) 807-1118. 


About Clark Seif Clark

CSC was established in 1989 to help clients in both public and private sectors address indoor air quality, occupational, environmental, and health and safety (EH&S) issues. CSC is a leading provider of these services with multiple offices along the western seaboard and southwest. The company believes in science-based protocols and has a strong background in engineering, making them the preferred environmental consultants to industrial clients, healthcare facilities, architects, schools, builders, contractors, developers and real estate professionals.