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Coal Ash Beneficial Use

Coal ash is fly or bottom ash, or boiler slag resulting from the combustion of coal. Coal ash is beneficially used on mine sites to fill pits, create or amend soil, and as a low-permeability or high alkalinity material.

Regulation and Policy

The regulations governing the beneficial use of coal ash are available at 25 PA Code Chapter 290.

For additional information on implementing the requirements of Chapter 290, refer to the technical guidance document:

Guidelines for Beneficial Use of Coal Ash at Coal Mines 563-2112-228 (PDF)

Guidelines for Beneficial Use of Coal Ash at Coal Mines 563-2112-228 Comment Response Document (PDF)


For information on certification, mine site approval, and/or fees refer to:

Beneficial Use of Coal Ash at Active Mine Sites 5600-FS-DEP4304 (PDF)

For information on the required parameters or certifications standards refer to:

Coal Ash Monitoring Parameters and Certification Standards 5600-FS-DEP4305 (PDF)

Current List of Certified Ash (CA) Sources

Coal ash sources beneficially used at mine sites must be certified for use by the Bureau of Mining Programs.

Reports and Responses

Coal Ash Volumes for Mine Reclamation Per Year

Coal Ash Beneficial Use in Mine Reclamation and Mine Drainage Remediation in Pennsylvania (2004) (ebook)

The National Academies National Research Council completed a report on use of coal ash in 2006: Managing Coal Combustion Residues in Mines (National Research Council Report, 2006)

PA DEP Response to Allegations of Pollution from Coal Ash Beneficial Use


Download all Coal Ash forms at eLibrary or send a request to for electronic copies.

The following forms replace any older versions. Please consult eLibrary for the latest versions.

  • Coal Ash Beneficial Use Certification Application 5600-PM-BMP0011 This form is for new source certification request or to qualify a GP ash material for beneficial use; use for revisions to an existing source.
  • Coal Ash Quality Assessment for Beneficial Use 5600-PM-BMP0012 Submit this form in conjunction with 5600-PM-BMP0011 for background samples; use for regular ash quality sampling; use for special sampling requests.
  • Coal Ash Water Quality Monitoring Report 5600-PM-BMP0014 Use this form in conjunction with Module 25 application at a mine site for background samples; use for regular quarterly sampling as part of the mining permit requirements; use for special sampling requests. This form must be submitted as an xls (spreadsheet) file.
All ash certification submittals and monitoring data should be sent to the following address:
  1. DEP - Bureau of Mining Programs
  2. P.O. Box 8461
  3. Harrisburg, PA 17105-8461
  4. Attn: Coal Ash Certification
Or via email to

Any data or application regarding the active mining permit site (e.g., Module 25 information, permit revision requests, special condition requirements and water quality monitoring reports) should be sent to the District Mining Office.

All mine site operators utilizing coal ash for Beneficial Use are required to report the amounts/volumes.