U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's List of 44 High Hazard coal ash disposal sites

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This article is part of the CoalSwarm coverage of the coal-fired power station coal ash
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In June 2009, Sierra Club, Earthjustice, the Environmental Integrity Project, and the NRDC filed a Freedom of Information Act request to gain access to a list of 44 coal ash disposal sites that EPA has classified as "high hazard." EPA has thus far refused to disclose which of the hundreds of coal ash sites across the country pose the biggest threat to neighboring communities. The agency was told by the US Department of Homeland Security not to release the information, citing unspecified national security concerns. The locations of other hazardous sites, such as nuclear power plants, are publicly available.[1]

In response to demands from environmentalists as well as Senator Barbara Boxer (D-California), chair of the Senate Committee on the Environment and Public Works, EPA made public its list of 44 "high hazard potential" coal waste dumps. The rating applies to sites at which a dam failure would most likely cause loss of human life, but does not include an assessment of the likelihood of such an event. The list includes sites in 10 states, including 12 in North Carolina, 9 in Arizona, 6 in Kentucky, 6 in Ohio, and 4 in West Virginia. Eleven of the sites belong to American Electric Power, 10 to Duke Energy. No Tennessee Valley Authority sites were included on the list. EPA relied on self-reporting by utilities to rank the facilities, and TVA classied all of its dump sites - including Kingston Fossil Plant - as "low hazard."[2]

Two weeks after the release of EPA's list, Tennessee Valley Authority reclassified four of its coal disposal sites to “high.” The four sites include Colbert and Widows Creek Fossil Plants in Alabama and Bull Run Fossil Plant and Cumberland Steam Plant in Tennessee. TVA reclassified most of its other dumps as "significant" hazards, meaning that a dam failure would likely cause economic loss and environmental damage. TVA had initially ranked all its sites as having "low" hazard potential.[3]

EPA's List of 44 High Hazard Potential Units

The following table comes from EPA's official list of Coal Combustion Residue (CCR) Surface Impoundments with High Hazard Potential Ratings. This list is organized alphabetically by company.[4]

Company Facility Name Unit Name Location
Allegheny Energy Pleasants Power Station McElroy's Run Embankment Willow Island, WV
American Electric Power Big Sandy Plant Fly Ash Louisa, KY
American Electric Power Cardinal Plant Fly Ash Reservoir 2 Brilliant, OH
American Electric Power Gavin Plant Fly Ash Pond Cheshire, OH
American Electric Power Gavin Plant Bottom Ash Pond Cheshire, OH
American Electric Power Amos Plant Fly Ash Pond St. Albans, WV
American Electric Power Mitchell Plant Fly Ash Pond Moundsville, WV
American Electric Power Muskingum River Plant Unit 5 Bottom Ash Pond (Lower Fly Ash Pond) Waterford, OH
American Electric Power Muskingum River Plant Upper Fly Ash Pond Waterford, OH
American Electric Power Muskingum River Plant Middle Fly Ash Pond Waterford, OH
American Electric Power Philip Sporn Power Plant Fly Ash Pond New Haven, WV
American Electric Power Tanners Creek Plant Fly Ash Pond Lawrenceburg, IN
Arizona Electric Power Cooperative Apache Generating Station Ash Pond 4 Cochise, AZ
Arizona Electric Power Cooperative Apache Generating Station Ash Pond 1 Cochise, AZ
Arizona Electric Power Cooperative Apache Generating Station Ash Pond 3 Cochise, AZ
Arizona Electric Power Cooperative Apache Generating Station Scrubber Pond 2 Cochise, AZ
Arizona Electric Power Cooperative Apache Generating Station Scrubber Pond 1 Cochise, AZ
Arizona Electric Power Cooperative Apache Generating Station Evaporation 1 Cochise, AZ
Arizona Electric Power Cooperative Apache Generating Station Ash Pond 2 Cochise, AZ
Arizona Public Service Company Cholla Generating Station Bottom Ash Pond Joseph City, AZ
Arizona Public Service Company Cholla Generating Station Fly Ash Pond Joseph City, AZ
Duke Energy G.G. Allen Steam Plant Active Ash Pond Belmont, NC
Duke Energy Belews Creek Steam Station Active Ash Pond Walnut Cove, NC
Duke Energy Buck Steam Station New Primary Pond Spencer, NC
Duke Energy Buck Steam Station Secondary Pond Spencer, NC
Duke Energy Buck Steam Station Primary Pond Spencer, NC
Duke Energy Dan River Steam Station Secondary Pond Eden, NC
Duke Energy Dan River Steam Station Primary Pond Eden, NC
Duke Energy Marshall Steam Station Active Ash Pond Terrell, NC
Duke Energy Riverbend Steam Station Secondary Pond Mount Holly, NC
Duke Energy Riverbend Steam Station Primary Pond Mount Holly, NC
Dynegy Midwest Generation Havana Power Station East Ash Pond Havana, IL
Dynegy Midwest Generation Wood River Station East Ash Pond (2 cells) Alton, IL
FirstEnergy Bruce Mansfield Power Station Little Blue Run Dam Shippingport, PA
Southern Company-owned Georgia Power Branch Generating Plant E Milledgeville, GA
E.ON-owned Kentucky Utilities Company E.W. Brown Generating Station Auxiliary Pond Harrodsburg, KY
E.ON-owned Kentucky Utilities Company E.W. Brown Generating Station Ash Pond Harrodsburg, KY
E.ON-owned Kentucky Utilities Company Ghent Generating Station Gypsum Stacking Facility Ghent, KY
E.ON-owned Kentucky Utilities Company Ghent Generating Station Ash Pond Basin 1 Ghent, KY
E.ON-owned Kentucky Utilities Company Ghent Generating Station Ash Pond Basin 2 Ghent, KY
E.ON-owned Louisville Gas & Electric Co Cane Run Station Ash Pond Louisville, KY
PPL Montana LLC Colstrip Steam Plant Units 1 & 2 Stage Evaporation Ponds (STEP) Colstrip, MT
Progress Energy Carolinas Inc Asheville Plant 1982 Pond Arden, NC
Progress Energy Carolinas Inc Asheville Plant 1964 Pond Arden, NC

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