The Nebraska Department of Environment and Energy (NDEE) considers waste coal, typically generated by train derailments, to be a special waste. Waste coal may be disposed of in a permitted municipal solid waste landfill or buried at the site of the derailment. Burial at the derailment site is the preferred of the two disposal methods because the disposed coal compounds the danger of an uncontrolled fire in a landfill.
Burial on site must have department approval as required by Nebraska Administrative Code, Title 132.
The NDEE requires submittal of a Special Waste Characterization Request form for the on-site management of waste coal.
- The Special Waste Characterization Request form must be provided to NDEE, including the legal description, depth to groundwater, distance to surface water and land use of the intended disposal location. This allows NDEE to assess the site and determine if it is an acceptable location prior to burial.
- A disposal trench must be excavated. Generally this trench should measure 4 to 10 feet deep and 10 to 20 feet wide.
- The trench must be lined with the equivalent of a 20-mil plastic liner sheet.
- The bottom liner sheet must be covered with 6 inches of fine dirt to prevent damage during the placement of the waste coal.
- The coal must be deposited and then covered with the equivalent of a 20-mil plastic liner sheet.
- The enclosed coal must be covered with 2 feet of earthen material cover and graded to facilitate surface water runoff.
Titles are available on the NDEE Home Page under
“Laws/Regs & EQC” > “Rules & Regulations”
Nebraska Department of Environment and Energy
P.O. Box 98922
Lincoln, NE 68509-8922
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