The federal rule on coal ash disposal should be protective of human health and the environment.

Coal ash was exempt from most waste disposal laws until the Coal Combustion Residuals Rule (CCR Rule) in 2015. Since there were no requirements prior to 2015, power companies disposed of the ash in the least expensive manner. Ash was placed in unlined landfills and ponds right next to the power plants. Coal-fired power plants need a source of cooling water, so the Indiana plants are located along Lake Michigan or the White, Kankakee, Wabash or Ohio Rivers. Therefore, most of the coal ash is disposed of in the floodplains of Lake Michigan and the rivers.