Georgia Power Ash Pond Closure Efforts Continue Across the State in 2018
Monday, March 5th, 2018
Georgia Power announced continued progress in the company's efforts to safely and permanently close 29 ash ponds at 11 current and former coal-fired power plants across the state. The company initiated ash pond closure preparation and construction activities in early 2016 with a commitment to being protective of the state's waterways. As of March 2018, Georgia Power has completed closure construction activities and removed all ash from five ash ponds at Plants Branch, Kraft, McDonough and Yates. Additionally, construction activities are currently underway at multiple sites with closure construction efforts expected to be completed at six additional ash ponds at Plants McDonough, McManus, Hammond and Yates this year.
"We took early action to quickly and safely begin closing all of our ash ponds with our top priority being to protect water quality every step of the way," said Dr. Mark Berry, vice president of Environmental & Natural Resources for Georgia Power. "We are working well in advance of regulatory deadlines and posted groundwater results 18 months ahead of today's required federal deadline. Additionally, we are exceeding state and federal requirements by completely excavating 17 ash ponds adjacent to waterways and using advanced engineering methods to close the remaining 12 in place on our property."
Georgia Power's ash pond closure plans were designed to fully comply with the federal Coal Combustion Residuals Rule, as well as the more stringent requirements of Georgia's state CCR Rule. Georgia was one of the first states in the country to develop its own rule regulating management and storage of CCR such as coal ash. The rule regulates all ash ponds and landfills in the state and includes a comprehensive permitting program through which the Georgia Environmental Protection Division will approve all actions to ensure ash pond closures are protective of water quality.