Alabama’s Coal Ash Pond Closure Permits Challenged by New EPA Interpretations


Well-known member
Jul 9, 2023
For those of you who are managing coal ash ponds in Alabama, you should be aware of a significant development. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has challenged the Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM) recently regarding the state's coal ash pond closure permits. Despite the efforts of ADEM to align their regulations with federal standards, the EPA is now questioning whether Alabama's permits are as protective as the federal regulations they are based on.

The closure methods of coal ash ponds could be impacted by this challenge, which will include either capping the ponds in place or excavating the ash to a lined landfill.

The public has been actively involved in the process, they were included by ADEM and have also worked in consultation with the EPA. With EPA's new interpretation though, there is a level of uncertainty about the future compliance of these permits.

Lance LeFleur, ADEM's director assures that their closure permits and regulations will continue to comply with all court rulings and federal regulations.

This situation is constantly evolving and it is crucial for all those managing these ponds to ensure they stay informed about the potential impacts and changes on their operations.

You can find more detailed information here
Alabama, United States
I imagine with coal ash ponds that there is a lot of waste left over in there. From what I'm reading here, it sounds like they are attempting to close the coal ash ponds they are running, but are having issues with the closure process because of the permits and the amount of waste that they have to move and deal with?

I've heard there are big risks with coal ash ponds. I think the one @Shortie mentioned also lacks a liner to contain the ash deposits, and it's said that it's reaching the groundwater, which they obviously do not want. Thanks for sharing this news.
The challenge from the EPA to Alabama's coal ash pond closure permits raises uncertainty. This dispute could affect closure methods, impacting those managing the ponds. Staying informed about potential impacts is vital for ongoing operations.
The active involvement of the public in the decision-making process emphasizes the importance of community engagement in environmental governance. However, the emerging uncertainties created by the EPA's recent stance call for heightened vigilance and continuous awareness among those tasked with managing these ponds. It is essential for these stakeholders to remain well-informed about potential impacts and forthcoming changes that may significantly influence their operational strategies and regulatory compliance.

For further information on this GPT, visit the U.S. National/Federal GPT page.