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Library of Congress Summary
The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress.
Coal Ash Recycling and Oversight Act of 2012 - Amends the Solid Waste Disposal Act (SWDA) to authorize states to adopt and implement coal combustion residuals permit programs.
Requires states that decide to implement such a program to:
(1) certify that such program meets the specifications of this Act; and
(2) maintain either an approved program for the disposal of hazardous waste from households or small quantity generators or an authorized state hazardous waste program.
Requires such coal combustion residuals permit programs to apply the revised criteria established by this Act to owners or operators of structures that receive such residuals, including surface impoundments.
Sets forth requirements for the certification and inspection of structures under such programs.
Authorizes a state agency responsible for implementing a program to require:
(1) action to correct structural deficiencies according to a schedule, and
(2) closure of a structure if such deficiencies are not corrected according to such schedule.
Requires each structure that first receives coal combustion residuals after this Act's enactment to be constructed with a base located a minimum of two feet above the upper limit of the water table, with specified exceptions.
Directs the agency to require structures to address wind dispersal of dust by requiring cover or by wetting coal combustion residuals with water to a moisture content that prevents wind dispersal, facilitates compaction, and does not result in free liquids.
Authorizes structure owners or operators to propose alternative methods will provide comparable or more effective control of dust.
Directs a state to require such owners or operators to comply with revised groundwater monitoring requirements prescribed by this Act. Authorizes:
(1) the responsible agency to conduct or require monitoring and testing to ensure structure compliance with program requirements, and
(2) an implementing state to inspect structures and enforce the program.
(1) deadlines for compliance with the groundwater protection standard for structures subject to corrective action and for operator or owner implementation of interim measures; and
(2) requirements for closure of a structure that fails to satisfy such deadlines or to meet other specified conditions.
Requires an alternative management capacity for residuals of a closing structure to be developed with the structure's owner or operator.
Sets forth revised criteria for program structures with respect to:
(1) design, groundwater monitoring, corrective action, closure, and post-closure;
(2) location restrictions in floodplains, wetlands, fault areas, seismic impact zones, and unstable areas;
(3) air quality;
(4) financial assurance;
(5) surface water; and
(6) record keeping.
Sets forth revised criteria for:
(1) run-on and run-off control systems for landfills and other land-based units other than surface impoundments that receive coal combustion residuals; and
(2) run-off control systems for surface impoundments that receive coal combustion residuals.
Requires the Administrator to provide a state with notice of, and an opportunity to remedy, deficiencies with respect to meeting program requirements.
(1) conditions under which the Administrator shall implement such a program for a state, and
(2) requirements for implementation or resumption of a program by a state for which the Administrator is implementing a program.
Requires the time period and method for a structure's closure to be set forth in a closure plan that establishes a deadline for completion and that takes into account the site-specific characteristics of such structure.
Directs the closure plan for a surface impoundment to require the removal of liquid and the stabilization of remaining waste as necessary to support the final cover.
Prohibits such a programs from applying to the utilization, placement, and storage of coal combustion residuals at surface mining and reclamation operations.
Prohibits this Act from being construed to alter the EPA's regulatory determination, entitled "Notice of Regulatory Determination on Wastes from the Combustion of Fossil Fuels," that the fossil fuel combustion wastes addressed do not warrant regulation as hazardous waste under SWDA.
House Democratic Caucus Summary
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