Coal Ash From Chesapeake Reported Vulnerable

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By Editors of Power Engineering

A new report indicates millions of tons of coal ash at the site of a former coal plant will become vulnerable to flooding and storms.

The report, authored by researchers at Western Carolina University’s Program for the Study of Developed Shorelines, was commissioned by the Southern Environmental Law Center on behalf of the Sierra Club.

3.3 million tons of ash are stored in pits, two-third of which are unlined, at the site of Chesapeake Energy Center, which was closed by Dominion Virginia Power in 2014 after over 60 years of operations, the Associated Press reported.

The report indicated the river will rise by more than three feet by 2100, which will cause more flooding problems at the site. The same amount of sea level rise will transform the site into an island.

The Sierra Club and SELC have filed a lawsuit against Dominion, and want the utility to move the ash to an inland site. During the trial, the cost of removing the ash was estimated at $221 million by the Sierra Club and $477 million by an excavation contractor who has worked for Dominion.

Dominion officials said engineers are working to improve the shoreline around the site to protect against rising waters and a 500-year flood, with the project set for completion in 2018.

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