Welcome to the Ohio Coal Association Blog!
Welcome to the Ohio Coal Association (www.ohiocoal.com) blog page. The intent for the blog page is for member companies to be engage with other companies regarding the coal industry and issues they are experiencing. I think this can be especially helpful for our Coal Environmental Committee to stay apprised of permit issues, EPA guidance rules, and other regulations that affect our member companies.
The coal industry is literally dealing with at least a half dozen federal regulations, any one of which would decimate our industry. The EPA finalized the CSAPR, or transport, rule in July. It is supposed to take effect on January 1st and will cripple the use of coal in the eastern half of the country. Utilities are already canceling existing coal contracts based upon this regulation and the consumer will see utility costs increase by as much as 19% in some states. Even EPA estimates that CSAPR will cost $4.6 billion per year. Also, the proposed MSHA mine dust rule will make it virtually impossible to mine coal underground. In all practicality the standard is unachievable and MSHA has not publicly disclosed the data that underlies their reason for choosing this dust standard, which is estimated to cost mine operators approximately $1 billion. Moreover, the EPA Utility MACT regulation, expected in December, is a blatant attempt to further regulate PM, under the guise of scaring the public with mercury. According to EPA's own analysis, the monetized health benefits for mercury and the other Hazardous Air Pollutants is .004% of the costs, the other 99.996% of the costs come from reducing PM, which is already covered by several other regulations. EPA projects that this regulation will be their most expensive air regulation ever at $11.4 billion, and we believe their costs are way off. All together, in recent analysis the Utility MACT, CSAPR, Coal Combustion Residuals, and the 316(b) cooling water intake structures regulations will be the most expensive regulations ever drafted for coal-fired utilities. In closing, having discussion on these type of issues can only benefit the coal industry as a whole. I look forward to hearing your comments/suggestions and as always, please let me know how the Ohio Coal Association can be of benefit to you.