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Case Study

Programmatic approach for meeting federal coal ash disposal requirements across the U.S.

Every Challenge Has a Backstory

In 2015, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) passed regulations—generally known as the CCR Rule—that establish a comprehensive set of requirements for disposal of coal combustion residuals (CCRs), including both surface impoundments and landfills.  

In response to the rule, a national energy company looked to OBG to implement a comprehensive monitoring program and prepare impoundment closure plans for multiple coal-fired power plants located across the U.S. to comply with the rule and applicable state requirements.  

OBG’s Focus on Solutions

The groundwater monitoring program is being implemented consistently across the energy companies’ 14 coal-fired power plants and more than 30 CCR units using templated compliance documents, a shared interpretation and evaluation strategy, and a common database platform for analytical data.  

Groundwater quality data interpretation is being used to plan comprehensive CCR Rule compliance, inclusive of closures, for its facilities while incorporating other engineering and operational aspects, making OBG a partner in implementation of the CCR Rule.  

Following the required background monitoring period, OBG is evaluating potential alternate sources for the identified groundwater impacts, or assisting in developing corrective action strategies and monitoring plans for affected CCR units. Facility closure plans, alternative source demonstrations, and corrective action strategies include additional focused hydrogeologic investigation where needed and groundwater modeling to predict groundwater quality compliance following closure. 

Results that Matter

OBG’s programmatic approach is facilitating streamlined data evaluation and reporting consistent with reporting used by the utility for other aspects of CCR Rule compliance, facilitating a comprehensive plan for its entire system of CCR units and the power plants they support.