Should coal combustion products be regulated by the EPA as a hazardous waste?

Shouldcoal combustion products be regulated by the EPA as a hazardouswaste?

Coalcombustion products or residuals (CCR) should not be designated ashazardous waste. Coal ash, for example, has many beneficial reuseapplications. CCR products like coal ash can be encapsulated forbeneficial use. Coal ash can be bind to create wall boards, bricks,and concrete roofing materials as a way of preventing its escape tothe environment. In 2014, over 24.6 million tons of ‘fly’ ash wasused in the making of concrete products and gypsum boards (Nordin,Abdullah, Tahir, Sandu &amp Hussin, 2016). This paper will discussthe environmental, and economic benefits that result from reusingCCR.

Environmentalbenefits of reusing CCR are numerous. For example, millions of tonsof CCR were used to make products like gypsum boards. This, in turn,reduces the amount of ash in the environment because it replacesother items like gravel (Nordin et al. 2016). Reduced use ofmaterials like gravel in concrete and gypsum boards has benefits tothe environment because there is no overexploitation of naturalresources.

Economically,people tend to benefit because the use of coal combustion products orresiduals reduces the need for materials like concrete which are moreexpensive (Nordin et al. 2016). There is revenue generation fromselling coal that would have been disposed. Lastly, products from CCRare also durable and stronger yet cheaper to produce.

Currently,EPA regulates CCR as some types of coal contain heavy metals likearsenic, mercury, and cadmium. The possible health and safety risksof heavy metals are minimal as EPA has standards for differentiatingbeneficial ash from disposable hazardous type (Nordin et al. 2016).These regulations are the reasons why EPA took long to make thedecision that would classify CCR as a hazardous waste.


Itis, therefore, evident that coal combustion products or residuals(CCR) should not be designated as hazardous waste because of itsenvironmental and economic benefits which arise from its re-use. CCRhas been used to create wall boards, bricks, and concrete roofingmaterials thus easing the coast of construction. Lastly, the Epa tooklong to classify CCR as a hazardous waste because of the regulationsthat have been put in place when it comes to classifying products.


Nordin,N., Abdullah, M., Tahir, M., Sandu, A., &amp Hussin, K. (2016).UTILIZATION OF FLY ASH WASTE AS CONSTRUCTION MATERIAL.&nbspInternationalJournal of Conservation Science,&nbsp7(1),161-166. Retrieved from