CCR Rule Compliance Data & Information

USEPA CFR 257.107

This is a publicly accessible website for the Grand Tower Energy Center, LLC (GTEC) “Inactive Ash Basin” to provide information in accordance with Code of Federal Regulation (CFR) PART 257—CRITERIA FOR CLASSIFICATION OF SOLID WASTE DISPOSAL FACILITIES AND PRACTICES The GTEC Ash Basin is an “Inactive Ash Basin” and subject to Rule 257.100 as amended through June 2016.


Rule Background

On April 17, 2015, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency published the Hazardous and Solid Waste Management System; Disposal of Coal Combustion Residuals from Electric Utilities final rule in the Federal Register. This rule regulates the disposal of coal combustion residuals (CCR) as a solid waste as part of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) in 40 CFR Parts 257 and 261. This final rule applies to new and existing CCR landfills and CCR surface impoundments, and certain inactive CCR surface impoundments at coal-burning electric utility sites that are still producing electricity as of October 19, 2015. The CCR landfills and CCR surface impoundments in the rule are also referred to as “CCR units.” The rule requires that owners or operators of CCR units governed by the rule:

  • Record compliance with these requirements in the operating record
  • Notify the state regulators of the availability of certain reports and information
  • Maintain a public website with access to compliance information

These requirements help ensure transparency and offer the public access to information about our CCR units. We will continue working with regulators to manage CCR units for our facilities, including those for which the final rule does not apply. The Grand Tower Energy Center, LLC (GTEC) ash basin is defined as an inactive ash basin since the basin has not received CCR materials following 2001.  The original rule exempted inactive ash basins from the majority of requirements if the basin planned to close prior to April 2018.  This portion of the Rule (257.100) was amended June 17, 2016 to include inactive ash basins in the regulatory requirements with a delayed compliance schedule.


Facility Background

The Grand Tower Energy Center, LLC (GTEC) has reportedly produced electricity since 1951 utilizing both coal and oil fired boilers prior to converting to natural gas in 2001.  While operating coal fired boilers, GTEC developed a 21.7 acre coal combustion waste (CCW) impoundment for both fly ash and bottom ash residuals.   The CCW impoundment has not received CCW materials since converting to natural gas in 2001. Current day, GTEC is a 478 Megawatt (MW) natural gas combined cycle facility that is located in Grand Tower, Illinois adjacent to the east bank of the Mississippi River.  GTEC is located on 300 acres of land and is a merchant facility, which sells energy and capacity into the Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO) system.


Notification Of Intent To Close

In accordance with Rule 257.100(e)(1)(i); the owner or operator must have prepared and placed in the facility’s operating record by December 17, 2015, a notification of intent to initiate closure of the inactive CCR surface impoundment pursuant to § 257.105(i)(1). GTEC retained Environmental Resources Management (ERM) in October 2014 to begin evaluating closure options for the inactive ash basin.  The first Technical Memorandum prepared by ERM evaluating the closure options moving forward was issued to GTEC on March 3, 2015 and placed in the Facility’s Operating Record. Following these activities, ERM returned to the site November 2015 to perform field exploratory activities to validate moving forward with “Close-In-Place” of the inactive ash basin.  At this point ERM was engaging Illinois EPA on a regular basis to discuss planned activities and permitting required moving forward. In accordance with Rule 257.100(e)(1)(ii);  the owner or operator must have provided notification to the State Director and/or appropriate Tribal authority by January 19, 2016, of the intent to initiate closure of the inactive CCR surface impoundment pursuant to § 257.106(i)(1) ERM and GTEC began conversations with Illinois EPA beginning with the planning of field exploratory activities in November 2015.  At this time information was relayed to Illinois EPA that GTEC planned to close the inactive ash basin using a “Close-In-Place” method contingent upon results of exploratory work.

In accordance with Rule 257.100(e)(4)(iii);  No later than April 18, 2017, initiate the inspections by a qualified person as set forth by § 257.83(a).


Quarterly Post-Closure Groundwater Monitoring Reports

Quarterly post-closure groundwater monitoring events are performed by Environmental Resources Management (ERM) personnel and a quarterly findings report is generated. Copies of the quarterly groundwater monitoring reports can be found by clicking on the link below.

2022 Q2 Quarterly Post-Closure GW Monitoring Report

2022 Q3 Quarterly Post-Closure GW Monitoring Report

2022 Q4 Quarterly Post-Closure GW Monitoring Report

2023 Q1 Quarterly Post-Closure GW Monitoring Report

2023 Q2 Quarterly Post-Closure GW Monitoring Report


Post-Closure CCR Impoundment Inspections

Quarterly post-closure impoundment inspections are performed by Environmental Resources Management (ERM) personnel and quarterly as well as annual findings reports are generated.  These inspections are specific to the closed CCR impoundment and areas that were within the remediation footprint. This is in addition to other inspections conducted for various regulatory programs required at the facility.  Copies of the post-closure CCR impoundment inspection reports can be found by clicking on the link below. Copies of the quarterly reports may also be found within Appendix A of the Quarterly Groundwater Post-Closure Monitoring Reports.

Post-Closure Impoundment Inspection Reports


Annual Consolidated Reporting 

the Annual Consolidated Report for the preceding calendar year(s) are presented below. The annual reporting includes an Annual Inspection Report and an Annual Groundwater Monitoring and Corrective Action Report.

2022 Annual Consolidated Report


Pre-closure Ash Basin Inspections

Weekly and quarterly ash basin inspections were historically performed by site personnel.  These inspections were specific to the ash basin and were in addition to other inspections conducted for various regulatory programs required at the facility. Environmental Resource Management (ERM) Engineers provided general information and inspection guidance to the facility for the development of the inspection program.  Copies of the routine inspections can be found by clicking on the links below.

2017 Weekly Inspections

2018 Weekly Inspections

2019 Weekly Inspections

2020 Weekly Inspections

2021 Weekly Inspections


Pre-Closure Annual Inspections

No later than July 19, 2017, complete the initial annual inspection by a qualified professional engineer as set forth by § 257.83(b).  The initial annual inspection will be posted when available.

2018 GTEC Annual Inspection Report

2019 GTEC Annual Inspection Report

2020 GTEC Annual Inspection Report


Basin Identification

In accordance with Rule 257.101(b)(3)(ii);  No later than June 16, 2017, place on or immediately adjacent to the CCR unit the permanent identification marker as set forth by § 257.73(a)(1). The permanent marker sign was installed June 14, 2017 at the Inactive Ash Basin in accordance with Rule 257.73(a)(1).


GTEC has begun the permitting process with Illinois EPA for the “Closure-In-Place” of the GTEC Inactive Ash Basin.  The documents submitted to the IEPA are posted below and are also available on the IEPA website.  The comment period for the application is open until November 1, 2019.

IEPA Submittal Cover Letter

Construction Quality Assurance Plan

Closure/Post-Closure Plan 2019

 Final GMZ Application 2019

Notice of Closure Plan November 2021

Construction Complete Certification 2021

The IEPA issued a Notice of Coverage letter on 10/25/2019, with the determination that storm water discharges associated with industrial activity from the closure of the facility ash pond are covered under the General NPDES Permit.  A copy of the NPDES General Permit for Storm Water Discharges from Construction Site Activities is attached.

Notice of Coverage & NPDES General Permit for Storm Water Discharges

Stormwater Permit Completion 10 29 2021

Coal Combustion Residual Surface Impoundment Permitting Program, Application Form CCR 20E:

Grand Tower Operating Permit Application October 2021

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