Scherer Steam Generating Station Ash Pond

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Scherer Steam Generating Station Ash Pond is a coal ash disposal site associated with Scherer Steam Generating Station, owned and operated by Southern Company subsidiary Georgia Power near Juliette, Georgia.

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Site data

Information below derived from EPA's Coal Ash Survey database;[1] GPS coordinates courtesy of Earthjustice researchers

  • Owner: Georgia Power
  • Parent company: Southern Company
  • Associated coal plant: Scherer Steam Generating Station
  • Location: Juliette, GA
  • GPS coordinates: 33.0600, -83.8100
  • Hazard potential: None
  • Year commissioned: 1980
  • Year(s) expanded:
  • Material(s) stored: Fly ash, Bottom ash, Boiler slag, Pyrites
  • Professional Engineer (PE) designed?: Yes
  • PE constructed?: Yes
  • PE monitored?: Yes
  • Significant deficiencies identified: Confidential
  • Corrective measures: Confidential
  • Surface area (acres): Confidential
  • Storage capacity (acre feet): Confidential
  • Unit Height (feet): Confidential
  • Historical releases: None
  • Additional notes:

Health impacts of Scherer waste site

In April 2012, CNN reported that a number of residents near the Scherer Steam Generating Station had numerous health problems, including nose bleeds, muscle twictches, dementia, cancer, and diseased organs. CNN confirmed at least two houses across from the plant have been bought by Georgia Power, while another 10 owners of nearby houses claim Georgia Power representatives have approached them with offers to purchase their property. Almost immediately after Georgia Power purchased the second home, the company sealed the on-site water well. A hair sample of one nearby resident showed 68 parts per million uranium, traced to a water well on her property. Hair testing revealed that another Juliette resident, Jamie Worley, had high concentrations of uranium in his hair. Worley developed liver cancer and died, although it's unclear whether the uranium triggered the cancer. Residents suspect the plant led to the uranium, as uranium is heavily concentrated in coal ash, and Plant Scherer produces hundreds of acres of coal ash per year. The waste is stored in a 900-acre unlined pond surrounding the plant. Residents want Georgia Power to line the ash pond to better protect water supplies.[2]

Coal waste in the United States

A January 2009 study by The New York Times following the enormous TVA coal ash spill found that there are more than 1,300 surface impoundments across the U.S. containing coal waste, with some sites as large as 1,500 acres.[3] Also in January 2009, an Associated Press study found that 156 coal-fired power plants store ash in surface ponds similar to the one that ruptured at Kingston Fossil Plant. The states with the most storage in coal ash in ponds are Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky, Georgia and Alabama. The AP's analysis found that in 2005, 721 power plants generating at least 100 MW of electricity produced 95.8 million tons of coal ash, about 20 percent of which - or almost 20 million tons - ended up in surface ponds. The rest of the ash winds up in landfills or is sold for other uses.[4] In June 2009, EPA released its list of 44 "high hazard potential" coal waste sites, which included 12 sites in North Carolina, 9 in Arizona, 6 in Kentucky, 6 in Ohio, and 4 in West Virginia.[5] The full list is available here.

Citizen groups

Resources

References

  1. Coal Ash Survey Results, Environmental Protection Agency, accessed December 2009.
  2. John Sepulvado, "A power plant, cancer and a small town's fears," CNN Radio, April 1, 2012.
  3. Shaila Dewan, "Hundreds of Coal Ash Dumps Lack Regulation," New York Times, January 7, 2009.
  4. Dina Cappiello, "Toxic Coal Ash Piling up in Ponds in 32 States," Associated Press, January 9, 2009.
  5. Shaila Dewan, "E.P.A. Lists ‘High Hazard’ Coal Ash Dumps," New York Times, June 30, 2009.

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