Coal Ash Management and Regulations Course

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Coal accounts for more than a third of electricity generation in the U.S., resulting in over 130 million short tons of coal combustion residuals (CCR) annually. This makes coal ash one of the largest waste streams in the U.S. To put this in perspective, the tonnage of coal ash alone is equivalent to roughly half the total tonnage of municipal solid waste (MSW) generated in the U.S. annually.

Notwithstanding an increase in natural gas supplies and a focus on renewable sources of energy, coal will feature prominently in the energy mix for the foreseeable future. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has recently proposed rules on how CCRs should be managed (e.g., Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, Subtitle C vs. Subtitle D) and has advocated for alternate means of CCR testing (Leaching Environmental Assessment Framework versus Synthetic Precipitation Leaching Procedure or the Toxicity Characteristic Leaching Procedure). This course provides a primer on CCRs as well as recommendations for their management and characterization in light of these changes.

Upon completion of this course, the attendee will be able to:

  • Describe coal combustion basics
  • Discuss ash uses and regulations
  • Demonstrate the mineralogy and composition of fly ash and flue gas desulfurization gypsum (FGD or “synthetic” gypsum)
  • Describe the basic concepts of ash leachability and risks associated
  • Define field measurements for CCRs

Course Length

53 minutes

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