State OKs Coal Ash Reuse

by | Jul 1, 2014

Michigan may allow toxic coal ash to be reused for some beneficial purposes such as road construction and as an fertilizer supplement.

The Great Lakes Echo reports some environmental groups including the Sierra Club are concerned about the bill, which the Michigan legislature approved, because it allows the leftover residue from coal burned at electric power plants to be used in agriculture, instead of being treated as hazardous waste.

Earlier this year the EPA released its evaluation of the two largest beneficial uses of coal ash: use in concrete as a substitute for Portland cement, and the use of flue gas desulfurization gypsum as a substitute for mined gypsum in wallboard.

Under the evaluation, EPA concluded that the beneficial use of encapsulated coal ash in concrete and wallboard is appropriate because it is comparable to virgin materials or below the agency’s health and environmental benchmarks.

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