MDE to Regulate Coal Combustion Byproducts

MDE to Regulate Coal Combustion Byproducts

Press Release

Maryland Department of the Environment

Media Contacts

Robert Ballinger
(410) 537-3012

MDE to Regulate Coal Combustion Byproducts

Baltimore, MD (November 19, 2007) – Today, the Department of the Environment submitted regulations controlling disposal of coal combustion byproducts to the Legislative AELR Committee for review. The Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) plans to propose, in the December 21, 2007, issue of the Maryland Register regulations controlling the disposal of coal combustion byproducts (CCBs) and the use of CCBs in mine reclamation. No federal program exists to regulate the management of these materials. MDE’s action ensures there will be adequate measures in place to protect public health and the environment. The agency will also publish an Advanced Notice of Proposed Action in the same issue of the Maryland Register to solicit feedback and input from interested parties on MDE’s plans to promulgate regulations at a future date on the beneficial use of CCBs.

The regulations address the disposal of Coal Combustion Byproducts (CCBs) in dedicated disposal facilities as well as the use of CCBs in coal and noncoal mines. The regulations also address active and abandoned mines. MDE is also publishing in the same edition of the MD Register an Advanced Notice of Proposed Action on the beneficial use of CCBs.

In this Advanced Notice, MDE is soliciting comments from the public on the development of management standards on the beneficial use of CCBs to protect human health and the environment. The public hearing for the regulations is February 5 at 10:00 at MDE. There will be a public meeting to discuss the Advanced Notice of Proposed Action on February 26 at 10:00 at MDE.

The various coal combustion facilities in Maryland produce about 2 million tons of coal ash annually. This rate of generation is expected to continue. Scrubber sludge to be generated by flue gas desulphurization (FGD) pollution control technology is expected to be produced at a rate of about 2.5 million tons annually. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has been working on regulations to control the management of coal combustion byproducts since 2000. The Maryland Department of the Environment is proceeding in the absence of federal requirements.

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