Coal Ash Landfills

EPA Coal Ash Rule

In April 2015, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) passed regulations—generally known as the CCR Rule—that govern the disposal of coal ash (coal combustion residuals or CCRs). The CCR Rule establishes technical requirements for CCR landfills and surface impoundments under subtitle D of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), the central federal regulatory program governing recycling and disposal of solid waste. - Read more HERE

TVA Compliance With EPA Rule 

This website is intended to satisfy the requirement under the CCR Rule, 40 C.F.R. § 257.107, to maintain a publically accessible internet site containing the information specified in that section. The required information will be posted according to the deadlines and timeframes set forth in the CCR Rule. - Read more HERE.

TDEC Coal Ash Order to TVA 

On August 07, 2015, The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) issued a Commissioner’s Order to the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) directing the investigation, assessment and remediation of all coal ash disposal sites across Tennessee. This Order follows the federal coal combustion residual (CCR) rule, and not only ensures the state is kept abreast of TVA’s progress in complying with the federal rule, but also goes beyond what the federal rule requires. The Order is intended to establish a transparent, comprehensive process for the investigation, assessment, and remediation of coal combustion residual disposal sites at TVA’s coal-fired power plants in Tennessee. The Order also establishes the process through which TDEC will oversee TVA’s implementation of the federal CCR rule to insure coordination and compliance with Tennessee laws and regulations that govern the management and disposal of CCR. Read the full Order HERE.

Programmatic Environmental Impact Statementon Closure of Coal Combustion Residual Impoundments

The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) intends to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) to address the closure of coal combustion residual (CCR) impoundments at its coal-fired power plants. CCRs are byproducts produced from the combustion of coal or the control of combustion emissions and include fly ash, bottom ash, boiler slag, and flue gas desulfurization materials. The purpose of this EIS is to facilitate TVA’s compliance with the CCR Rule that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued on April 17, 2015. This also will provide the public a meaningful opportunity to comment on the issues associated with that effort. 

This EIS will programmatically consider the impacts of the two primary closure methods: (1) Closure-in-Place and (2) Closure-by-Removal.  It will also consider the site-specific impacts of closing 11 of TVA’s ponds within three years. Public comment is invited concerning the scope of this EIS.

You can read the Notice of Intent here.  Visit the supporting website here. Joint Sierra Club comments here. 

Kingston Coal Ash Landfill Permit History

On December 20, 2005, TVA applied for an Industrial Class II Landfill permit to construct and operate the Gypsum Disposal Area (GDA) on the peninsula adjacent to the Kingston power plant.  The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) issued Permit No. IDL 73-0211GDA to TVA on December 20, 2007. Initial construction of the first phase disposal unit was completed in 2009. 

The second phase of the landfill is scheduled for future construction. After the December 22, 2008 spill of 5.5 million cubic yards of coal ash from the former Kingston Ash Pond, TVA no longer had an approved area to dispose of coal ash that was being generated by the steam plant. On January 22, 2013, TVA submitted a major modification request to TDEC to allow disposal of coal ash, among other items, in the Gypsum Disposal Area (GDA). 

On October 23, 2013, TVA submitted a minor modification request to TDEC to approve a work plan that TVA would use to identify and mitigate "drop outs" (sink holes) in the GDA. TDEC received several comments from community members and elected officials expressing serious concern with TVA's proposed method of locating and fixing sinkholes that could result in large releases of coal ash into the Clinch River. Because of the community's concerns, TDEC required TVA to provide additional information and re-write the Work Plan. On May 14, 2015, TVA submitted the revised Work Plan to TDEC. 

On September 29, 2015, TDEC granted TVA a permit for Kingston Fossil Plant Landfill (IDL730000211) Granted Major Modification to Class II Solid Waste Disposal Facility Permit – Harriman, Roane County (Response to Comments included) - Read it HERE

Sierra Club, et al submitted comments on the proposed Kingston Coal Ash landfill in December 2014 and supplemental comments in February 2015.