The CCR Rule‘s Impact on Electric Utilities


  • Matthew McDermott


America’s electricity generation industry has historically been almost entirely dependent on the burning of coal. This necessity to burn coal so as to provide vital energy for our nation will likely continue for several decades into the future. Due to the large volumes of ash generated by the burning of coal and the toxins associated with coal ash,the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has identified coal combustion residuals, or CCR, as a potential threat to the environment. To help protect both society and the environment, the EPA instituted a new regulation in the Federal Register in the Fall of 2015, stipulating both design and operation measures for all electric utility facilities across the nation. With such drastic regulation comes much controversy and concern over the necessity of governing coal ash disposal. This paper provides an overall summary of the history, make up, controversy, and implementation of the new CCR Rule so that members of the engineering community can gain a better understanding of the new regulation.






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