When a dike at the Tennessee Valley Authority's ("TVA") Kingston Fossil Plant failed on December 22, 2008, 5.4 million cubic yards of coal ash spilled,
Coal waste is typically disposed of in surface impoundments, minefills, landfills, and recycled into other products. Although there has been a recent trend away from disposal of coal wastes in surface impoundments and towards landfills,
Although EPA concluded in a 2000 report that coal waste disposal in surface impoundments, underground mines, and landfills should be regulated under Subtitle C as a hazardous waste, EPA reversed its recommendation just a few weeks later.
On March 9, 2009, EPA announced that it planned to propose regulations for coal waste by the end of the year.
Of the fifteen states that create nearly three-quarters of all the coal combustion waste in the United States, only one requires liners for surface impoundments and only three require liners for landfills for coal waste.