July 23, 2020

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Nathan Higgerson to Present at Utility Solid Waste Activities Group Coal Combustion Residual Workshop Session

Nathan Higgerson (St. Louis) will present on "Closure of CCR Impoundments: A Discussion of Construction Issues and Strategies from the Owner and Engineering Perspective" at the Utility Solid Waste Activities Group (USWAG) Coal Combustion Residual (CCR) Workshop's Session 3 on July 27, 2020.

Nathan's co-presenter is Matt Balance from Vistra Energy.

Nathan is a Principal Scientist based in Missouri with more than 18 years of experience in both the consulting and private industries focused on fossil fuel and renewable power, mining, environment, and solid waste engineering projects. As the current project manager for multiple CCR related projects, Nathan's responsibilities include oversight of landfill operations and construction projects. These projects require engineering design, permitting, budgeting, quality assurance and control, as well as environmental compliance for CCR management, reuse, and disposal systems.

The Coal Combustion Residuals Workshop was designed to provide attendees with an understanding of the CCR Rule, a key regulatory compliance.

USWAG is responsible for addressing waste, byproduct and chemical management, and transportation issues on behalf of the utility industry. USWAG members include more than 130 utility operating companies, power producers, energy companies, and industry associations. USWAG's core mission is to support the industry's efforts to comply with federal environmental regulations, protect the environment, and serve its customers. As part of that effort, USWAG engages in regulatory advocacy, regulatory analysis and compliance assistance, and information exchange.

Geosyntec Participation

Title: Closure of CCR Impoundments: A Discussion of Construction Issues and Strategies from the Owner and Engineering Perspective
Presenter: Nathan Higgerson, Geosyntec; Matt Balance, Vistra Energy
Description: In 2015 the EPA mandated the regulation and management of Coal Combustion Residuals (CCR) from electric utilities. This rule led to impoundment closures at coal-fired power plants all over the country.

These impoundment closure projects consist of three basic components; design, dewatering, and construction. These components are challenging in that there are unknown variables that can lead to change orders and cost overruns. Engineering these components correctly throughout the closure process can reduce the Owner's risk. To complete closure designs, good background data collection for the impoundments is required. The proper approach and institutional knowledge of the site lead to the success of the dewatering component.

Impoundment closures are water management projects until dewatering is completed, at which point they become heavy construction projects. The dewatering aspect of the project can be a time consuming but an important part of the project from an efficiency and safety perspective. Once dewatering is completed and construction begins there are many moving parts; grading CCR materials and soils, water management, geomembrane capping materials, vegetation growth, etc., that can create logistical challenges.

This talk will discuss these challenges from the perspective of the owner and the engineer, the process to successfully complete the closure, the lessons learned during the process, as well as provide insight to the valuable experience the project team gained while working through these challenges. We will discuss the contractor selection and construction process used for two projects, that combined, are approximately 300 acres of impoundment closure. As with all projects, getting started and working together can be a challenge and these projects are no different.

The talk will discuss the engineering for construction support as site conditions changed when dewatering began, and the adjustments made. In addition, different material properties were discovered during excavation causing additional adjustments to the process.

Learn More

About the event: https://bit.ly/2YKTIsE
About the Utility Solid Waste Activities Group: https://www.uswag.org/
For consultation regarding CCR remediation, contact Nathan at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
Learn more about Nathan Higgerson: https://www.geosyntec.com/people/nathan-higgerson