Georgia Power's Ash Pond Closure Methods Focus on Protecting Georgia's Water Quality
Sign-Up for Free Energy, Facility, Power Newsletter (EFPN) newsletter
Georgia Power announced that efforts to dewater its ash ponds are well underway, marking the next step in the safe and permanent closure of 29 ash ponds at 11 active and retired power generation sites across the state. The company's comprehensive and customized dewatering process treats the water removed from the ash ponds to ensure that it meets the requirements of each plant's wastewater discharge permits approved by the Georgia Environmental Protection Division (EPD) and is protective of applicable water quality standards.
"As we progress through our ash pond closures, protecting water quality in our state's waterways is as important to us as it is to our customers," said Aaron Mitchell, general manager of Environmental Affairs for Georgia Power. "Our ash pond closure and dewatering plans are in compliance with all environmental regulations. In addition, we have invested in appropriate water treatment systems for each location to ensure that our dewatering process is protective of Georgia's lakes and rivers."
Georgia Power's dewatering process for each site will follow a series of clearly defined steps:
Ash Pond Closure Progress
In addition to protecting surface waters such as lakes and rivers through comprehensive and customized dewatering processes, the company is also actively monitoring groundwater quality at its facilities. Georgia Power's groundwater monitoring program includes the following elements:
The company has collected results from five of eight rounds of groundwater testing conducted at its first phase of plants through March 2017. Testing results for this time period have been posted on Georgia Power's website and will be reported to Georgia EPD. The company expects to complete all eight rounds of background monitoring for its first phase of plants in October 2017. A complete report providing a full analysis and data interpretation of these results will be provided to Georgia EPD and posted to Georgia Power's website in January 2018.
Georgia Power delivers clean, safe, reliable and affordable energy through a diverse generation mix, which includes renewable energy, such as wind and solar, along with natural gas, nuclear and coal-fired generation. Over the last five years, Georgia Power has safely retired or fuel-switched approximately 4,000 MW of coal and oil-fired generation and the company's coal-fired generation capacity is nearly half of what it was in 2005. Approximately 50 percent of the coal ash Georgia Power produces today is recycled for various uses such as Portland cement, concrete, and cinder blocks.
Hear from Georgia Power during the Opening Session at the World Energy Engineering Congress (WEEC) taking place September 27-29 in Atlanta!
Learn more about WEEC at event site, www.energycongress.com