A simple analogy, coal ash storage is like trying to organize your closet in an endless battle to fit ever more stuff into little space. However, unlike your closet problem utility companies cannot get rid of those unneeded belongings (coal ash), or sign on the dotted line for storage-unit leases (landfills).
It is all about BUILDING safe, adequate, and economical STORAGE.
There is too much coal ash and not enough existing space (landfills) to properly store this waste. Utilities must develop different approaches to comply with ever-changing regulations. Now is the time to find relief to this issue; time is wasting away.
The cap-in-place solution has been solidly debunked from a safety standpoint. The market for beneficial use of coal ash in building products still lags far behind the over-abundance of legacy CCR. Yes, the Beneficiation market may eventually catch up, but leaving toxic CCR in the ground indefinitely with very little protection while it waits for a new home isn’t an option.
Nevertheless, Beneficiation timeframes greatly extend beyond desired regulatory and environmental protection timeframes. So the issue of long-term or medium-term STORAGE still takes centerstage.