- New federal standards will categorize coal ash as a solid waste instead of considering it a hazardous material.
- The classification was determined despite pushback from environmentalists. The regulations do not extend to shuttered power plants, but would apply to closed ash ponds where utilities are active.
- States will continue to ensure standards surrounding the waste are followed. The federal government would have taken over enforcement had the decision turned out differently or if the waste had been dubbed "hazardous."
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said it would protect citizens from the risks associated with coal ash waste sites while pledging to hold corporations who operated ash waste sites accountable. The rules are expected to increase leak monitoring, control blowing dust, and to require companies to publicly release test results.
Waste Management had predicted a substantial amount of growth for the company if the rule were to be approved. The ash waste stream is larger than the waste stream currently handled by the company.