Coal Ash Management: Regulatory Update and Geotechnical/Groundwater Considerations for Ash Pond Closures

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Product Description

Coal still accounts for a third of electricity generation in the U.S., resulting in over 130 million short tons of coal combustion residuals (CCR) annually. This makes CCR the second largest waste stream in the U.S., behind municipal solid waste. Historically, the majority of CCR material has been stored in ash impoundments, essentially water and ash contained in an earthen dam. Recent state and federal regulations have essentially required the closure of all 735 coal ash impoundments nationwide. This presentation highlights groundwater and geotechnical considerations in light of the required closure of these impoundments.

Upon completion of this course, attendees will be able to:

  • Discuss the current context of coal ash regulation
  • Assess CCR impacts to groundwater
  • Understand geotechnical considerations during ash pond closure
  • Understand best practices for ash pond remediation
  • Understand beneficial uses of coal ash
  • Describe an alternative method for infiltration control

Presenter Bios

JOHN L. DANIELS is Professor and Chair of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at UNC Charlotte. He also Chairs the National Ash Management Advisory Board for Duke Energy. Previously Dr. Daniels was a Program Director in the Directorate for Engineering at the U.S. National Science Foundation where he was responsible for funding research in geotechnical and geoenvironmental engineering as well as engineering research centers. He is a licensed Professional Engineer in the State of North Carolina. While at UNC Charlotte, Dr. Daniels has led numerical, laboratory, and field-based projects for utilities and consultants, as well as state, national, and foreign agencies. Much of this work has focused on physical and chemical controls on soils and industrial byproducts, with a focus on coal fly ash. His work with organo-silanes to render soil and ash hydrophobic has been recognized as a potential method for reducing infiltration and leachability, as cited in the U.S. EPA’s proposed rule on Coal Combustion Residuals. His textbook, co-authored with H-Y. Fang, entitled “Introductory Geotechnical Engineering: An Environmental Perspective” was released in 2006 and he has over 80 publications in various journals, conference proceedings and technical reports. He has worked for TRC Environmental Corporation, Lowell, MA as a project engineer and is a registered Professional Engineer (PE) in Massachusetts and North Carolina. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from Lehigh University, Bethlehem, PA; a Masters and a Doctorate in Civil Engineering from the University of Massachusetts at Lowell.

CHRIS HARDIN, P.E. is a geotechnical and environmental professional engineer with over 25 years’ experience specializing in the technical and business management aspects of responsible waste handling, groundwater remediation, renewable energy and sustainable agriculture. He is a Professional in Residence at the UNC Charlotte Energy Production and Infrastructure Center (EPIC) and the Managing Director of the EPIC Coal Ash and Liquids Management Office. Mr. Hardin through his work at UNC Charlotte and various trade organizations actively promotes the recycling and beneficial reuse of coal ash and renewable energy initiatives. He graduated from the University of Maryland in 1987 and is a registered professional engineer in seven states including North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia. During his career Chris has worked on large scale saturated sediment remediation projects, and foundations for LNG energy projects in both the United States and China. Mr. Hardin’s professional experience has been focused on responsible waste management practices, sediment remediation, coal ash management and containment system design. He is an active member of American Coal Ash Association (ACAA), various local environmental and sustainable farming organizations, and ASTM International. While serving as a working member of the E50 committee he was responsible for writing several sections of ASTM E2277, the Standard Guide for Design and Construction of Coal Ash Structural Fills. In addition, he has written or co-authored numerous technical papers and presentations including: Best Management Practices for Coal Ash Storage Facilities (2009); Practical Considerations for Wet Coal Ash Pond Systems (2011); Evaluation of the Settlement Behavior of Flyash for Ash Basin Closure Projects (2013); and Innovations in Creating the Sustainable Landfill (2009).