Savvy solutions help manage coal combustion residuals under dynamic regulations

One of the major challenges faced by power companies that produce electricity with coal is how to handle the ash and other byproduct materials left over after the coal has been burned. This material is commonly referred to as coal combustion residuals (CCR). Recent events around the United States involving coal ash storage impoundments put a spotlight on how power companies are storing CCR. This has led to increased scrutiny and regulatory requirements regarding dam stability and groundwater impacts for CCR ponds and landfills.

Hanson has been helping power companies manage their CCR programs for decades and has a strong reputation in the power industry and among regulatory agencies for its experience in this area. Hanson has specialized experience in site evaluation, alternatives analysis, design, permitting, construction and monitoring of CCR landfills, CCR surface impoundments, flue gas desulphurization gypsum stacks and associated structures as well as the beneficial reuse of CCR. Hanson’s team has helped clients with design, permitting and construction-phase services for the closure of CCR impoundments and other CCR disposal facilities, including environmental and hydrogeologic impact studies, closure plans, closure implementation and long-term monitoring.  Hanson’s expertise in truck and rail logistics has also been applied to the management of CCR materials, especially to allow for efficient transportation for beneficial reuse.

When approaching changes to CCR management, solutions must not only meet regulations but also be cost-effective. When one client sought a less expensive method to handle the water used to transport its ash, Hanson conducted an alternatives analysis. The team developed a simple solution that met the environmental requirements and saved the client several million dollars compared to the initial design.

Hanson is working on numerous CCR-related projects throughout the Midwest, including closure-in-place designs, closure by removal, anti-degradation plans, retrofitting and seismic analysis for impoundments. Other CCR work includes rail system design for exporting materials for beneficial reuse, landfill design and annual monitoring, groundwater monitoring design plans and sample results analysis, pond and landfill airspace calculations and water treatment options analysis. Hanson also provides clients assistance in answering regulatory agency requests.  

The landscape of environmental compliance is ever-changing. Hanson has the experience and skills to help power companies navigate regulations and cost-effectively manage CCR.

For more information about Hanson’s services for CCR programs, click here or contact C J Saladino at

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