CCR Rule Compliance Data & Information
Updated February 2019
AEP is committed to being a good neighbor. We also are committed to operating our facilities in a way that meets or exceeds all regulations and protects public safety and health. This includes operating in full compliance with the EPA’s Coal Combustion Residuals (CCR) rule and any state CCR rules. CCR rules establish requirements for how we handle and store CCRs at our power plants. CCRs, also called coal ash, are the materials that remain after coal is burned to make electricity.
AEP completed initial groundwater sampling in 2017. We conducted additional monitoring and analyzed that data during 2018.
AEP installed more than 300 test wells to do this sampling. We took multiple samples from each well to establish a baseline for 21 substances and to determine if the levels of these substances increased as the groundwater flowed beneath the storage sites. Many of these substances occur naturally in groundwater.
In 2018, AEP also completed location restriction analyses and alternate source evaluations for our coal ash storage sites.
We have proactively been meeting with plant neighbors and community leaders to answer questions about the data collected, what it may mean and to discuss next steps.
2018 Groundwater Monitoring Reports & Statistical Analyses
In 2018, AEP continued monitoring groundwater quality at the CCR storage sites in this monitoring program. We twice sampled groundwater at the sites. We compared the 2018 data with established baseline levels for each site and with groundwater standards established by the EPA.
Of the 24 AEP sites where we monitor groundwater, we determined that six coal ash storage sites at four power plants are increasing the levels of some substances in the groundwater within the plant property. We are proactively meeting with plant neighbors and community leaders to discuss these findings and next steps.
Additional information, including locations where sites are impacting groundwater and the substances of local concern, can be found on the individual plant pages to the right.
Alternate Source Reviews
Independent third parties completed Alternate Source Reviews for 22 CCR storage sites that showed elevated concentrations of one or more of the 21 substances. The reviews determine whether there are factors other than the ash storage site that may be affecting groundwater quality. This review process found alternate sources for groundwater impacts at some of the coal ash storage sites. Information about locations where alternate sources for groundwater impacts were identified is available on the individual plant pages below.
AEP completed location restriction reviews in 2018 for the coal ash storage sites. This review looks at the site’s proximity to groundwater aquifers, wetlands, fault areas, seismic zones and unstable areas. We learned that seven sites did not meet the restriction requiring them to be separated from the uppermost aquifer by at least five feet. All other AEP ash storage sites meet the rule’s location restrictions.
We will stop placing material in these ash ponds as soon as we have a storage alternative. We then will begin closure activities.
AEP will continue monitoring groundwater quality at all coal ash storage sites included in the program.
We also will continue efforts to learn more. Where groundwater impacts are indicated, we will add sampling sites farther away from the storage site to better understand the extent of groundwater impacts. We also hope to sample water on neighbors’ property to confirm we are not impacting their wells.
Where we see indications that a storage site is causing substance levels to exceed standards, we will stop placing material in these ash ponds as soon as we have a storage alternative. We then will begin closure activities. We will pursue corrective measures to mitigate groundwater impacts, seeking public input before making a final decision as to what measures we will take.
As of March 1, 2018, AEP Generation Resources Inc. no longer operates Cardinal Plant. Going forward, CCR-related compliance documents will be posted and maintained on the publicly available website of Ohio Electric Cooperatives – Buckeye Power.
As of January 30, 2017, AEP Generation Resources Inc. no longer owns or operates Gavin Plant. CCR-related compliance documents are posted and maintained on the publicly available website of Gavin Power, LLC.