It's not just an adjective, it's a license to pollute:
Administrative Law Judge Melissa Owens Lassiter is holding a hearing this week in Raleigh on a challenge to the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality’s decision to allow a “beneficial use” permit for the ash to be buried at the Brickhaven and Colon mines as part of what the state calls a reclamation project.
The opposing groups contend the burial is really nothing more than a landfill, not a reclamation project. As a landfill, it would be subject to more stringent environmental controls than as a beneficial use project.
Companies like Charah who deal in CCRs (Coal Combustion Residuals) invested a lot of time, effort, and money crafting the language used in their business. They fought (successfully) to keep coal ash from being classified as a "hazardous" waste, even though it contains both heavy metals and radioactive elements, as well as a smorgasbord of other toxins. And now their clever use of the word "beneficial" is allowing them to leapfrog over a second category. It's not a hazardous landfill, and it's not even a landfill, it's a reclamation project. The fact that DEQ has bought into this purely subjective classification is just one more nail in its integrity coffin.