(Concrete Products 6-21-2010) In the June 21 Federal Register, EPA formally proposes a rule maintaining provisions for beneficial use of fly ash in concrete and other construction materials, but significantly tightening existing regulations’ treatment of nonconstruction-grade coal ash. The notice, “Management System; Identification and Listing of Special Wastes; Disposal of Coal Combustion Residuals [CCR] From Electric Utilities," opens a public comment period through September 20.


(Concrete Products 6-21-2010) In its proposed regulation of power plants’ coal combustion residuals (CCR) under the Resource Conservation & Recovery Act (RCRA), EPA acknowledges potential backlash a hazardous waste designation might have on beneficial uses of concrete.

AZ Utilities Opposing Proposed US Coal-Ash Rule

(Arizona Daily Star 6-20-2010) Tucson Electric Power Co. and other coal-burning Arizona utilities are opposing proposed federal rules that would designate coal ash as a hazardous waste, calling them costly and unnecessary. Spurred by the disastrous failure of a dam holding back millions of cubic yards of wet coal ash in Tennessee in 2008, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced last month it was proposing for public comment two plans for regulating coal ash storage and disposal.

TVA Decides to Store Ash at Kingston Spill Site

(Associated Press 5-19-2010) The Tennessee Valley Authority will permanently store onsite more than 2 million cubic yards of coal ash from a massive spill as part of the utility's second phase of clean up. At $270 million, the onsite storage will consist of 25-foot-tall heap with no liner system beside the Emory River west of Knoxville. It was the cheapest of several options TVA considered, and Steve McCracken, the utility's cleanup project manager, said it should keep overall costs within the projected $1.2 billion total.

Advances in New Concrete Technology

(Aggregate Research 5-19-2010) There have been a number of advances in new concrete technology in the past ten years. There have been advancements made in almost all areas of concrete production including materials, recycling, mixture proportioning, durability, and environmental quality. However, many of these innovations have not been adopted by the concrete industry or concrete users / buyers. There is always some resistance to change and it is usually based on cost considerations and lack of familiarity with the new technology.

EPA Releases More Electric Utility Plans to Improve Safety of Coal Ash Impoundments

(EPA 5-19-2010) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is releasing action plans developed by 16 electric utility facilities with coal ash impoundments, describing the measures the facilities are taking to make their impoundments safer. The action plans are a response to EPA’s final assessment reports on the structural integrity of these impoundments that the agency made public this February.

New Greener Building Standards - Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions

(Aggregate Research 5-12-2010)  Widespread adoption of new building standards aimed in part at reducing greenhouse gas emissions is presenting the concrete industry with a difficult question: how do you make concrete with constructible properties and a smaller carbon footprint?

EPA Stiffens Coal Ash Rules, But Proposal Allows Recycling

(Greensource 5-10-2010) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on May 4 unveiled a draft rule to regulate coal ash, for the first time, under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act. The proposal would require coal-fired powerplants to retrofit existing impoundments, which typically store ash in liquid form, with composite liners. It also would provide strong incentives to eventually close surface impoundments and shift to dry storage in landfills, EPA says. The new scrutiny follows a 2008 collapse of a Tennessee impoundment that spread ash over a 300-sq-mile area of land and water.

EPA Backed off "Hazardous" Label for Coal Ash After White House Review

(New York Times 5-7-2010) U.S. EPA's proposed regulation of coal ash as a hazardous waste was changed at the White House to give equal standing to an alternative favored by the coal industry and coal-burning electric utilities.The Obama administration is now considering two competing rules for regulating the ash that contains toxins that include arsenic, lead and mercury. The first would set binding federal disposal requirements for the ash, and the second would label the ash nonhazardous and leave enforcement to the states (E&ENews PM, May 4).


(Concrete Products 5-5-2010) EPA officials are set to open a 90-day public comment period for proposed rules that address disposal and management of coal-fired power plants’ ash and residue, while exempting higher-grade, lower-carbon fly ash suited to concrete mix designs, cement mill feed, and wallboard production.