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Coal Combustion Residuals (CCR)

Analytical Support for CCR Sites

On April 17, 2015, EPA published the final rule on the disposal of CCR for electric utilities, establishing the nationally applicable criteria for the safe disposal of CCR. The rule defines groundwater monitoring requirements in landfills and surface impoundments, and requires monitoring for 30 years past the closure of the facility. 

Complex Methods and Sample Matrices

CCR groundwater samples can be complex.  You need a laboratory that understands how to handle samples appropriately, minimizing the possibility of false positives.  TestAmerica recommends the use of ICP/MS with collision cell technology for the analysis of CCR metals samples.  This technology will reduce the potential of matrix interference which can directly lead to false positive results, while also providing the high levels of sensitivity required by the CCR regulation.

TestAmerica also offers several radiochemistry analysis options for the determination of Radium 226 and 228.  As each site has unique needs, we recommend discussing your objectives with your TestAmerica representative so that we can create a plan that best suits your needs.

TestAmerica’s Programmatic Approach

The CCR rule requires the development of a Sampling and Analysis Plan (SAP) for each site.  Partnering with TestAmerica early in the SAP process allows us to assist you in the creation of the SAP, providing information on sample collection and preservation, methods, reporting limits, chains of custody and quality assurance and control procedures. 

Once the SAP is created, TestAmerica can begin to enter your data into our proprietary Sites and Events tool which allows us to manage your project using a programmatic approach.  Our approach manages your sampling program and data in their entirety, as opposed to multiple individual sampling events.   The Sites and Events tool facilitates the creation of recurring bottle orders, chains of custody and bottle labels to aid in field logistics. Further, the tool includes a historical data comparison program to identify outliers and suspect results that can be addressed prior to reporting data.  Catching these situations early reduces risk, and allows timely action to be taken by the client and laboratory.

Once reported, data is available on TestAmerica’s online data portal, TotalAccess.  The portal is available 24/7, and provides secure access to lab generated reports, EDDs and invoices.  TotalAccess also allows clients to create custom tables with data from multiple sampling events, which can then be compared to pre-loaded regulatory limits or custom site-specific limits inputted by the client.  To learn more, please visit our TotalAccess page.  

The CCR rule requires testing for the following monitoring parameters:

Appendix III

Detection Monitoring

Total Dissolved
pH (field)


Appendix IV

Assessment Monitoring

Radium 226 & 228
pH (field)