The Florida Legislature recently passed CS/CS/SB 682 relating to beneficial use and disposal of fossil fuel combustion products (FFCPs), also referred to as coal combustion residuals. FFCPs are primarily fly ash, bottom ash, boiler slag, and flue- gas emission control materials from the combustion of coal and other fossil fuels to generate electricity. FFCPs can be utilized in a variety of beneficial applications, such as cement and concrete production, wallboard production, highway and bridge construction, structural fill, and in certain agricultural applications. FFCPs that cannot be beneficially used are disposed in landfills or surface impoundments.
The bill was introduced in direct response to EPA rulemaking that could potentially end the beneficial use and disposal of FFCPs in Florida, and subject FFCPS to unwarranted management requirements. Florida Department of Environmental Protection and Florida legislative committee staff estimate that the economic consequences of EPA’s rulemaking could be as high as 2.5 billion dollars annually. By successful passage of this bill, these potential adverse economic consequences have been avoided and a clear message is being sent to EPA that Florida supports the beneficial use of FFCPs. The bill also provides a legislative template for other states to follow.
CS/CS/SB 682 encourages the beneficial use of FFCPs by clearly exempting certain uses of FFCPs from unnecessary permitting and regulatory controls under Chapter 403, Part IV. The bill also provides an exception to the hazardous waste landfill prohibition that will allow continued disposal of FFCPs in landfills and surface impoundments in Florida should EPA regulate the disposal of FFCPs as hazardous waste in the future.
Frank Matthews, Mike Petrovich and Carl Eldred successfully lobbied for the passage of the bill, working closely with the bill sponsors, Senator Simpson and Representative Goodson, and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection throughout the legislative process.