Alabama Power and Power South Coal Ash Pits
Last week, Alabama River Alliance joined partners Black Warrior Riverkeeper, Coosa Riverkeeper, and Mobile Baykeeper, to release new interactive maps highlighting groundwater pollution reported by Alabama Power and Power South at coal ash pits throughout the state.
As you’ll see, Alabama Power’s federally required monitoring shows significant pollution of groundwater with arsenic, radium, and more. Pollution has persisted even after Alabama Power closed their leaking Gadsden pit using cap-in-place – the same method it plans for millions of tons of coal ash in their dumps statewide.
The maps were developed to show the threat coal ash poses to our groundwater, rivers, wildlife, economics, and health. Across the state, six coal ash dumps are slated to be capped-in-place. Cap-in-place covers the ash pit on top but still leaves it unlined on the bottom, allowing groundwater pollution to continue.
“These maps clearly illustrate why we can’t leave coal ash in unlined pits next to our waterways,” said Casi Callaway, Mobile Baykeeper’s Executive Director & Baykeeper. “It is obvious from Alabama Power’s and Power South’s own groundwater monitoring data that toxic pollution in every unlined coal ash pit in Alabama is seeping into nearby groundwater and rivers.”
The maps come directly after the release of a new report showing that Alabama Power’s only capped-in-place pit at Plant Gadsden is still leaking arsenic and radium into groundwater above national limits. The utility plans to use the same method at every unlined ash dump in the state. The Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM) recently fined Alabama Power $250,000 (less than 0.03% of the utility’s 2017 net profit) for the Gadsden violations. Meanwhile, utilities across the Southeast like Georgia Power, Duke Energy, Santee Cooper, Dominion Energy, and TVA are collectively moving nearly 250 million tons of coal ash to upland, lined landfills to protect citizens in their states.
CLICK HERE TO READ MORE, including well sample reports.