April 24, 2019

D.C. Circuit Court Remands CCR Deadline Extension to EPA

Douglas H. Green and Michael Houlihan, PE

In a ruling on March 13, 2019, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit (D.C. Circuit) granted the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) request for voluntary remand without vacatur of the Phase 1, Part 1 CCR rule. That rule amended the 2015 CCR rule by, among other things, extending to October 31, 2020, the deadline to initiate closure for unlined impoundments subject to forced closure because they failed to meet a groundwater protection standard or impoundments that failed the aquifer location restriction. The bottom line of the Court’s March 13, 2019, ruling is that the October 31, 2020, deadline will remain in place while EPA undertakes a new rulemaking to determine the appropriate time frame for this class of CCR surface impoundments to initiate closure. EPA has stated that it intends to complete this rulemaking within the next nine months.

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