Power Generation, Transmission, and Use

Markets, Regulation, and Oversight

Impacts of Power Generation and Transmission

Looking Ahead


CEIR Report Map


Maryland Power Plants and the Environment (CEIR-18)

4.6.2 Regulation of CCBs

The use and final disposition of CCBs is dependent on the creation and development of state and federal regulations that establish the requirements for beneficial use and disposal of CCBs. Figure 4-38 (Download Adobe Acrobat Reader) is a timeline that shows milestones in the CCB industry and corresponding regulatory developments; Figure 4-39 (Download Adobe Acrobat Reader) presents a more detailed regulatory timeline, broken down by state vs. federal actions.

Maryland Regulations

Historically, use and disposal of CCBs at the state level in Maryland was governed by the Pozzolan Act of 1974. In 2008, Maryland established more specific regulations for the disposal of CCBs and their use in mine reclamation. This regulation requires permitting of new CCB disposal facilities under the same regulations as industrial solid waste facilities. The regulation further extends the industrial solid waste landfill requirements to reclamation of non-coal mines. CCBs used for coal mine reclamation are required to be alkaline in nature.

In February 2010, Maryland proposed additional regulations for the beneficial uses and transportation of CCBs. The draft regulations require that beneficially used CCBs, and the products made from them, exhibit no significant leaching under specific test conditions. Although the required leaching procedure was not specified, the parameters that must be tested are identified in the draft regulation. The draft regulations specifically approved encapsulated beneficial uses of CCBs, including concrete, asphalt, wallboard, and filler in plastic. Other unconsolidated (unencapsulated) beneficial uses of CCBs, such as the use of bottom ash as aggregate beneath pavement, pipe bedding, and winter traction control, were permitted with more stringent restrictions. Maryland suspended development of its beneficial use regulations in 2010 after EPA announced that it would consider a federal rule governing CCB use and disposal.

Federal Regulations

Between 1980 and 2010, CCBs were excluded from the federal definition of “waste materials” by the Bevill Amendment to the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). EPA proposed the first federal regulations of CCB disposal in June 2010, and published the final rule in April 2015 after an extended period of comment and receipt of additional data. The final rule classifies CCBs (referred to as coal combustion residuals (CCRs) within the rule) as a non-hazardous waste, subject to RCRA Subtitle D requirements for disposal. These requirements are primarily enforced at the state level. The federal rule also established monitoring requirements for CCB landfills. The rule affirmed the use of CCBs in encapsulated applications (such as concrete and wallboard), but placed restrictions on the use of CCBs in unencapsulated land applications. The use of CCBs to reclaim sand and gravel pits was specifically deemed a “disposal” activity and thus subject to landfill requirements for construction and monitoring. The federal rule took effect in October 2015.

The Bevill Amendment or Bevill exclusion is a federal legislative provision for all wastes or residues that result from the combustion of coal and other fossil fuels, exempting them from hazardous waste regulations.