Utility Solid Waste Activities Group, an association primarily dedicated to assisting members in the management of wastes and beneficial use of materials associated with the generation, transmission and sale of electricity and natural gas, is hosting a special workshop on Coal Combustion Residuals, February 17-18. The workshop is open to all USWAG members, affiliates and non-members and will provide a valuable forum for discussion on CCR management issues. CH2M’s Dennis Fink and Martin Reif are attending and presenting at the workshop.

By: Dennis Fink, CH2M

Dennis Fink and Martin Reif will present their paper, “Integrating CCR Rule and ELGs Compliance—The Dollars are in the Details”, co-authored by CH2M’s John Wood, during the Utility Solid Waste Activities Group (USWAG) Coal Combustion Workshop, February 18. Dennis also recently presented on the CCR Rule and ELGs at the Energy, Utility & Environment Conference (EUEC), held February 3-5, in San Diego, California.

I am looking forward to joining industry professionals next week, in Washington, DC, for the Utility Solid Waste Activities Group (USWAG) Coal Combustion Residuals (CCR) Workshop. In the wake of the final CCR Rule published April 17, 2015 and the Clean Water Act Effluent Limitation Guidelines (ELGs) published November 3, 2015, there has been a lot of buzz about the implication these regulations are having on power plants in the United States.

The CCR Rule contains several triggers that will require that coal ash ponds stop receiving wastewater in less than five years. These closure triggers include groundwater monitoring wells exceeding drinking water standards or background, as well as not meeting location criteria, such as bottom of pond being less than five feet above the water table. When closure is triggered, a utility must stop sending wastewater to the pond within six months—requiring an alternative means of treating this wastewater. If a utility waits until impoundment closure is required, there will be insufficient time to implement alternate treatment systems. Our experts are helping clients implement CCR pond management systems and wastewater treatment systems to meet the CCR Rule and ELGs.

Information is widely available summarizing these regulations and compliance requirements, but here are some of the key things to know:

  • CCR Rule defines when ponds close and new water treatment is required
  • Water regulations will dictate what treatment is required
  • Water regulations include ELGs, as well as water quality based effluent limits (WQBELS)
  • ELGs limit FGD water, bans ash transport water discharge

Join me on Thursday, February 18 at USWAG or contact me directly to learn more about the cost and risks (schedule, compliance and reliability, etc.), of complying with the CCR Rule and new ELGs. In my presentation, I will provide tips on:

  • Building an integrated schedule for CCR Rule and ELG compliance to negotiate an ELG compliance date with National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit writers
  • Forecasting upcoming limits based on water standards and the combined waste stream formula for use in setting the wastewater treatment system design basis
  • Integration of wastewater treatment into pond closure at a site with limited usable land for construction of required treatment facilities
  • Source segregation to comply with the ELG – the pros and cons now that the ELG allows co-treatment
  • Selecting and designing treatment systems to meet strict limits

Mr. Fink brings more than 20 years of experience in civil and environmental engineering including power plant compliance planning, water/wastewater treatment and characterization, pollution prevention, and groundwater remediation projects. He specializes in industrial wastewater treatment and minimization and is knowledgeable in sampling and process evaluation at coal-fired power plants, and developing treatment strategies to meet compliance limits. Mr. Fink brings extensive knowledge in all phases of project execution – from study, through design, construction, start-up, and supporting operations. He has been the CH2M project manager or senior technical consultant for projects developing and designing wastewater compliance strategies at seven power plants in the past three years.