With the upcoming five-year periodic assessment and plan deadlines rapidly approaching for landfills and surface impoundments, power generators subject to the CCR Rule should also consider audits to ensure their facility records and external-facing web sites are complete and documents are up-to-date.
On April 17, 2015, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency published the Standards for the Disposal of Coal Combustion Residuals (CCR) in Landfills and Surface Impoundments (Rule). This Rule was effective on October 19, 2015 and provides for plans and assessments for landfills and certain surface impoundments. Per the Rule, the initial plans and assessments were generally developed in late 2016 and are required to be evaluated and/or updated every five years.
What Plans are required to be updated?
For CCR landfills, the following plans require updating every 5 years:
- Run-on and Run-off Control System Plans (§257.81)
For certain CCR surface impoundments, the following plans and assessments require updating every 5 years:
- Hazard Potential Classification (§257.73 and §257.74)
- Emergency Action Plan (§257.73(a)(3) and §257.74(a)(3))
- Periodic Inflow Design Flood Control System Plans (§257.82)
Should I wait five years before updating my plans?
Though these plans and assessments are required to be reviewed and updated every five years, they should be amended whenever there’s a change in conditions that would substantially affect the plan.
Benefits of an Audit
The CCR regulations require a significant number of documents be maintained at the facility and posted to an external facing website. The external-facing websites provide access to any interested parties to evaluate and utilize this information for various purposes, including evaluating a facilities’ compliance and lawsuits. Therefore, it is critical that the required repositories be complete and updated, depending on the Rule requirements. Additionally, this is particularly important for those generators who have recently submitted documentation/demonstrations under the Holistic Part A and Part B regulations, which require certifications that all of the CCR requirements have been met. The Part A and Part B documents, and supporting information, will likely be thoroughly examined by interested third parties, both before and during the Public Comment periods required by these regulations.
While updating their five-year plans and assessments, power generators subject to the Rule should also consider conducting a compliance audit both at the facility and on their external-facing website. An inexpensive audit can provide an independent evaluation of facility CCR compliance and potentially save significant time and expense if deficiencies are identified and immediately addressed.
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