National Coal Ash Board’s Operations policy
The official governmental policy according to which the National Coal Ash Board (NCAB) operates is based on the following principles:
- To define coal ash as a “reclaimable substance requiring supervision” and to determine environmental guidelines to enable financial recovery;
- To give priority to the implementation of economic uses in order to prevent disposal of the ash as waste;
- To prepare a system of temporary storage facilities for ash that has been designated for future use;
- To advance uses by means of business development – preparation by the NCAB of environmental, technological and public conditions; marketing of the coal ash by the Israel Electric Corp.
- To encourage publicly funded agencies to collaborate in the reclamation of coal ash in the areas within their purview.
The tasks and goals determined by the NCAB focus on the practical promotion of the economic uses in the pre-commercial stages up until the stage of direct realization by the Israel Electric Corp. In this context, the NCAB invests resources in a wide range of areas:
- The generation and acquisition of knowledge;
- The definition of environmental conditions, standards and engineering specifications;
- The formulation of standardization, licensing and quality assurance control procedures;
- Opening and developing markets through feasibility studies, demonstrations, practical experience and test runs of uses;
- Professional guidance and support;
- Public education.
Beyond the generation of a primary knowledge base regarding the range of possible uses and its limitations, the NCAB also promotes its goals by means of supportive initiatives involving practical projects, or by providing organizational and/or administrative assistance for the development of projects of this nature. With the cooperation of its partners and other involved parties, the NCAB is currently formulating proposals to resolve difficulties and remove obstacles that may arise during the application of uses.
In retrospect, this method of promoting initiatives, of safeguarding both the public interest in the environment and product quality, has proven to be both effective and successful.
When the NCAB was established, it turned a significant market failure completely around by transforming coal ash from a waste product and nuisance into an economic resource. As part of its activities, in the infant stages of coal ash development, the NCAB bridges the inherent conflicts faced by the coal ash producer – the Israel Electric Corp – at both levels: the conflicts with the licensing authorities and the actual users. Given that it serves the best interests of the public and has no commercial interest, the NCAB drives processes that lead to commercial opportunities.
The NCAB’s experience shows that a precondition for implementation of uses is the promotion of development processes up to the completion of the “project portfolio” stage, including all its crucial components – technological, environmental, economic and administrative – all of course, only with the full cooperation of all the parties involved.