The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today published in the Federal Register its Final Rule for Disposal of Coal Combustion Residuals from Electric Utilities. With this publication, the Rule becomes official and the clock starts for compliance deadlines and any potential litigation.
Parties who wish to challenge any aspects of the rule will now have 90 days to notify EPA of that intent. The Final Rule will now become effective October 14, 2015.
The Final Rule was originally announced December 19, 2014 – the deadline established after a lawsuit brought by environmental groups and ash marketers Headwaters Resources and Boral Material Technologies. EPA officials told news media the 120-day delay between the announcement and final publication was to “allow for corrections to address inadvertent omissions, typos, etc. in order to help avoid unnecessary confusion.”
EPA officials have said the Agency will provide an addendum identifying changes that were made to the pre-publication copy released last December. The Agency is also expected to release additional key documents used in EPA’s decision-making, including the Risk Assessment and the Regulatory Impact Analysis. At the moment, it is unclear exactly when and where these documents will appear.
Key websites related to the Final Rule include:
· The Federal Register website where the Final Rule was published today.
· The Regulations.gov website containing the entire rulemaking docket.
· EPA’s Coal Ash Final Rule website, which EPA has indicated will be periodically updated with materials to help clarify aspects of the regulation.