Alabama Rivers Alliance

Power Utilities Wrestle With New Coal Ash Rules

Nov 21, 2016
Barry ash pond drain
EPA

Power utilities in Alabama and across the country are facing tough decisions on how to store all the ash their coal-fired power plants generate.

Last week was the deadline for utilities to post public plans for complying with new environmental regulations. That means closing the large unlined ponds that have traditionally been used to store the toxic ash. Both the TVA and Alabama Power plan to use a method called “cap-in-place”, where they’ll drain wastewater from the ponds and then cover up the more than 90 million tons of ash.

Barry ash pond drain
EPA

All year long on Alabama Public Radio, we’ve been looking at water. Specifically, we’re reporting on the state of Alabama’s water supply and the health of our rivers. It’s a story of politics, pollution, and the obvious need that water is there when you turn on the tap.

Today, the topic is pollution. We'll look at how the state’s poorest communities are often hit the hardest by toxic chemicals, and how efforts to help may end up further hurting one Alabama town…

Alabama Power / Wikipedia

Two groups have asked a federal agency to reconsider the license renewal for Alabama Power's seven dams on the Coosa River.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approved Alabama Power's new license last month. The Alabama Rivers Alliance and American Rivers say more study is needed. Alabama Rivers Alliance program director Mitch Reid says the renewal was a bad decision based on bad data. The two groups are being represented by the Southern Environmental Law Center.