In an October 12, 2012, filing with the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, EPA told the Court it needs a year or more to finalize its pending regulations for coal combustion residuals (“coal ash”). EPA’s filing resisted a lawsuit filed by environmental parties seeking to impose a six-month deadline for finalization of the coal ash regulations. The proposed regulations were published in the Federal Register on June 21, 2010 and were controversial because of the potential for EPA to classify coal ash as a hazardous waste, which would severely limit the ability of generators to dispose of or market coal ash. EPA’s Court filing outlined a series of steps the agency needs to take before finalizing the proposal, which EPA characterized as an “extraordinarily complex endeavor.” EPA also told the Court that the needed technical analysis might require a change in its regulatory proposal that is so significant that a new round of public comment would be required. It proposed to the Court that it would complete the technical analysis within one year and, at that time, file a status report with the Court identifying the necessary further rulemaking and timing that is necessary to finalize a regulation.
A copy of the filing is available here.