Updating Your Asset Retirement Obligations.pdf

Ron Hager, Burns & McDonnell

Description

ASSET RETIREMENT OBLIGATIONS: UPDATING YOUR AROS BASED ON THE PROPOSED LEGACY CCR SURFACE RULE Authors Mr. Ron Hager - United States - Burns & McDonnell Abstract On May 18, 2023, EPA proposed regulatory requirements for inactive surface impoundments at inactive facilities. This proposal responds to the 2018 U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruling that vacated the exemption for legacy CCR surface impoundments from the CCR regulations. The USEPA contends that Legacy CCR surface impoundments are more likely to be unlined and unmonitored, making them more prone to leaks and structural problems than units at facilities that are currently in service. These units are currently not regulated at the federal level and could potentially adversely impact groundwater. To address these concerns, EPA proposed regulations for legacy CCR surface impoundments, including requiring the proper closure of the impoundments and remediating CCR-contaminated groundwater. In addition, EPA found that power plants with regulated impoundments had also disposed of coal ash in areas outside of regulated units, and that many utilities had identified these areas as the source of detected groundwater contamination. These areas, referred to as “CCR management units,” include coal ash in surface impoundments and landfills that closed prior to the effective date of the 2015 CCR Rule, inactive CCR landfills, and other areas where coal ash is placed directly on the land. EPA also proposed to establish groundwater monitoring, corrective action, closure, and post closure care requirements for these areas. Utilities should consider some early-stage activities to prepare for compliance with the Proposed Legacy CCR Surface Impoundments and CCR Management Units Rule. Utilities should assess the need to value and report new Asset Retirement Obligations (ARO’s) and other financial liabilities that will be required because of the CCR Rule. This would include identifying legacy impoundments and CCR management units that would be included in the proposed rule and developing cost estimates for the closure or removal of the units.

 
May 15th, 9:30 AM May 15th, 10:00 AM

Updating Your Asset Retirement Obligations.pdf

Grand Rapids, Michigan

ASSET RETIREMENT OBLIGATIONS: UPDATING YOUR AROS BASED ON THE PROPOSED LEGACY CCR SURFACE RULE Authors Mr. Ron Hager - United States - Burns & McDonnell Abstract On May 18, 2023, EPA proposed regulatory requirements for inactive surface impoundments at inactive facilities. This proposal responds to the 2018 U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruling that vacated the exemption for legacy CCR surface impoundments from the CCR regulations. The USEPA contends that Legacy CCR surface impoundments are more likely to be unlined and unmonitored, making them more prone to leaks and structural problems than units at facilities that are currently in service. These units are currently not regulated at the federal level and could potentially adversely impact groundwater. To address these concerns, EPA proposed regulations for legacy CCR surface impoundments, including requiring the proper closure of the impoundments and remediating CCR-contaminated groundwater. In addition, EPA found that power plants with regulated impoundments had also disposed of coal ash in areas outside of regulated units, and that many utilities had identified these areas as the source of detected groundwater contamination. These areas, referred to as “CCR management units,” include coal ash in surface impoundments and landfills that closed prior to the effective date of the 2015 CCR Rule, inactive CCR landfills, and other areas where coal ash is placed directly on the land. EPA also proposed to establish groundwater monitoring, corrective action, closure, and post closure care requirements for these areas. Utilities should consider some early-stage activities to prepare for compliance with the Proposed Legacy CCR Surface Impoundments and CCR Management Units Rule. Utilities should assess the need to value and report new Asset Retirement Obligations (ARO’s) and other financial liabilities that will be required because of the CCR Rule. This would include identifying legacy impoundments and CCR management units that would be included in the proposed rule and developing cost estimates for the closure or removal of the units.