EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt says his agency will reconsider key parts of the Obama administration rule covering the handling of coal ash.
It comes after an industry trade group filed suit asking the agency to take another look at the rule which considers coal ash, or as the EPA calls it Coal Combustion Residuals, to be hazardous waste.
Pruitt, the former Oklahoma Attorney General announced the move in a letter to the Utility Solid Waste Activities Group and AES Puerto Rico.
Pruitt said he had “decided it is appropriate and in the public interest” to restudy the rule. The EPA granted two petitions to reconsider the provisions of the final rule.
“In light of EPA’s new statutory authority, it is important that we give the existing rule a hard look and consider improvements that may help states tailor their permit programs to the needs of their states, in a way that provides greater regulatory certainty, while also ensuring that human health and the environment remain protected,” said Pruitt in his announcement.
The current rule went into effect on October 19, 2015 and regulates how CCR generated from electric utilities and independent power producers is managed and disposed of in surface impoundments and landfills. The rule also defines what constitutes beneficial use of CCR; and, therefore, is excluded from the rule’s requirements.