Georgia Power to cease operations of all coal ash ponds within 3 years

Managing coal ash

Georgia Power issued an update to its coal ash pond closure strategy and provided new details on the timeline and engineering methods being used for all 29 of its ash ponds.

All of the company's 29 coal ash ponds across the state will cease operations and stop receiving coal ash within the next three years. Additionally, the company is completely removing the ash from 16 ponds located adjacent to lakes or rivers where advanced engineering methods, such as the installation of impermeable concrete barriers designed to isolate the closed pond from groundwater, may not be feasible.

The ash from these ponds will either be relocated to a permitted landfill, consolidated with other closing ash ponds or recycled for beneficial use. (About 50 percent of the coal ash Georgia Power produces today is recycled for various uses such as Portland cement, concrete, and cinder blocks.) The company's remaining 13 ash ponds will be closed in place using advanced engineering methods.

"We are aggressively working to close our ash ponds as quickly and safely as possible to meet EPA's new standards for handling coal ash," said Dr. Mark Berry, vice president of environmental affairs for Georgia Power. "As part of our strategy, we are also leveraging advanced technologies and engineering practices to ensure additional measures are in place that are protective of groundwater."

Throughout the closure process, Georgia Power is monitoring groundwater around all of its ash ponds and will report results to the Georgia Environmental Protection Division. Additionally, more than 500 groundwater monitoring wells will continue to operate even after the ponds are closed.

Ash pond closures are site-specific and balance multiple factors such as pond size, location, geology, and amount of material; and each closure will be certified by a team of independent, professional engineers. Additionally, the company must also ensure reliable electricity for customers during the significant construction work that must take place within each generating plant in order to accommodate the handling of dry ash and complete the ash pond closure process.

Did You Like this Article? Get All the Energy Industry News Delivered to Your Inbox

Subscribe to an email newsletter today at no cost and receive the latest news and information.

 Subscribe Now

Whitepapers

Making DDoS Mitigation Part of Your Incident Response Plan: Critical Steps and Best Practices

Like a new virulent strain of flu, the impact of a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack is...

The Multi-Tax Challenge of Managing Excise Tax and Sales Tax

To be able to accurately calculate multiple tax types, companies must be prepared to continually ...

Operational Analytics in the Power Industry

Cloud computing, smart grids, and other technologies are changing transmission and distribution. ...

Maximizing Operational Excellence

In a recent survey conducted by PennEnergy Research, 70% of surveyed energy industry professional...

Latest Energy Jobs

View more Job Listings >>

Archived Articles

PennEnergy Articles
2008 | 2009 | 2010 | 2011 | 2012 | 2013

OGJ Articles
2011 | 2012 | 2013

OGFJ Articles
2011 | 2012 | 2013

Power Engineering Articles
2011 | 2012 | 2013

Power Engineering Intl Articles
2011 | 2012 | 2013

Utility Products Articles
2011 | 2012 | 2013

HydroWorld Articles
2011 | 2012 | 2013

COSPP Articles
2011 | 2012 | 2013

ELP Articles
2011 | 2012 | 2013