In 2015, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) passed a new rule addressing the handling, storage and disposal of coal combustion residuals (CCRs). CCRs are the materials that remain after coal is burned. AEP has announced plans to permanently cease operations at Oklaunion Plant by September 2020. At that time, the plant will stop placing material into the CCR storage sites and will begin closure activities.
Five Oklaunion Plant ash storage sites currently are included in the CCR program. They are ponds 6, 21, 22 and 23 and the wastewater and sludge pond.
All of these storage sites are in active use. Oklaunion Plant uses dry handling systems for both fly ash and bottom ash. Ash now is stored in a lined landfill.
In 2017, Oklaunion Plant put nearly 34,000 tons of fly ash to beneficial reuse.
- Coal Combustion Residuals Monitoring & Reporting
Public Service Company of Oklahoma (PSO) has completed the first steps in the new groundwater monitoring program.
However, the rule does not require groundwater monitoring when an aquifer is not present. The groundwater at Oklaunion does not qualify as an aquifer because it does not yield usable quantities of water.
- Alternate Source Reviews
Alternate Source Reviews were not conducted for any CCR storage sites at Oklaunion Plant because groundwater monitoring is not required.
- Location Restrictions – New
The CCR rule established location restrictions for coal ash storage sites. It requires that storage site locations be evaluated regarding proximity to
- Groundwater aquifers,
- Fault areas,
- Seismic zones and
- Unstable areas (example: presence of quicksand).
Oklaunion’s CCR storage sites meet all location restrictions.
- Next Steps
AEP has announced its intention to cease operation of Oklaunion Plant by September 2020. The plant will begin the process of closing the CCR storage sites at that time.
- Pond 6
- Pond 21
- Pond 22
- Pond 23
- Wastewater & Sludge Pond