In 2015, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) passed a new rule addressing the handling, storage and disposal of coal combustion residuals (CCRs). CCRs are the materials that remain after coal is burned.
The Clinch River Plant ash pond, known as Pond 1, is included in the program. However, this ash pond initially was not covered by the CCR rule. It was added to the program at a later date. Because of that, this facility has different compliance dates.
The ash pond has been closed and capped. Clinch River Plant ceased burning coal in 2015 and no longer produces CCR material. The Plant now uses natural gas as fuel.
We strive to take advantage of opportunities to beneficially reuse as much CCR material as possible. For details, please see the AEP Corporate Accountability Report.
- Groundwater Monitoring Report & Statistical Analysis - New
Appalachian Power continues its groundwater monitoring activities around Clinch River Plant’s coal ash storage pond as required by the CCR Rule. We analyzed this data relative to EPA groundwater protection standards.
Analysis of this data by an independent third party indicates that the ash pond system is causing the levels of barium, cobalt, lithium and molybdenum in the groundwater within the plant site to rise above EPA standards. We do not have any data outside of the plant site.
AEP will develop a mitigation plan to address the groundwater impacts. We will seek public input before making a final decision as to what measures to take. We will proactively meet with neighbors and community leaders to answer questions and to discuss next steps.
The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) requires groundwater testing under a state administered permitting program. A link to the Virginia DEQ permit for Clinch River can be found on the DEQ website.
- Coal Combustion Residuals Monitoring & Reporting
Appalachian Power Company (APCo) has begun the new groundwater monitoring program at Clinch River Plant.
APCo has installed 12 monitoring wells. It recently began the process of gathering the initial eight sample sets. The data from these samplings will establish baseline levels for 21 different substances in the groundwater at the ash storage site.
- Alternate Source Reviews
Independent third parties will conduct Alternate Source Reviews for the Clinch River ash pond. The review will consider other factors that could impact sampling results as the groundwater passes the CCR storage site. This work has not yet been completed for the ash pond because it was brought into the program at a later date and is on a different monitoring and compliance schedule.
- Location Restrictions
The CCR rule establishes location restrictions for coal ash storage sites. It requires that storage site locations be evaluated regarding proximity to
- The Groundwater aquifer,
- Fault areas,
- Seismic zones and
- Unstable areas (example: presence of quicksand).
The Clinch River ash pond is on a different compliance schedule and will be evaluated by April 2020. This pond has been closed.
- Next Steps
- APCo will continue to test water from all of the wells in the groundwater monitoring program twice each year.
- Clinch River ash pond has been closed. APCo will develop a mitigation plan to address the groundwater impacts and will seek public input as we develop that plan.
- Pond 1