NSW EPA issues coal ash exemption

THE New South Wales Environmental Protection Agency has issued an exemption for the land application of coal ash, creating a diversion option for a very significant waste stream.

Max Pichon

With the NSW economy consuming around 30 million tonnes per annum of coal, the exemption will create an avenue for what has previously been a very large volume of material sent to landfill.

The coal ash exemption 2013, which commenced on April 22, 2013, provides conditions that enable coal combustion products, fly ash or furnace bottom ash from burning NSW black coal to be beneficially reused.

Reuse options include cementitious mixes such as concrete and non-cementitious mixes such as engineered fill, stabiliser, filter or drainage material or as a sand substitute.

A copy of the exemption can be downloaded from the EPA's website.

All general exemptions are made under part 6, clause 51 and 51A of the Protection of the Environment Operations (Waste) Regulation 2005.

General exemptions are valid until revoked by the EPA by notice published in the Government Gazette.