In 2015, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a new rule addressing the handling, storage and disposal of coal combustion residuals (CCRs). CCRs are the materials that remain after coal is burned.
The landfill at Turk Plant is included in the CCR monitoring program.
Turk Plant has dry handling systems for both its fly ash and bottom ash. The ash is stored in a lined landfill.
- 2018 Groundwater Monitoring Report & Statistical Analysis – New
In 2018, SWEPCO continued its groundwater monitoring activities around Turk Plant’s landfill. We analyzed this data relative to EPA drinking water standards and/or groundwater protection standards.
Analysis of this data by an independent third party indicates that the landfill is not impacting groundwater quality.
- Coal Combustion Residuals Monitoring & Reporting
SWEPCO took a series of groundwater samples at the landfill site. We took some samples before the groundwater passed beneath the ash storage site. (The reports refer to this as up-gradient.) We took other samples after it passed beneath the site (down-gradient). We used the data to establish baseline levels for 21 different substances in the groundwater. Moving forward, we will use these baselines to help determine if our ash storage sites are impacting the groundwater.
It is important to remember that variations in the level of these substances in groundwater are natural and occur for many reasons.
The initial data at Turk Plant did not show any potential groundwater impacts from this storage site.
We proactively reached out and met with plant neighbors and community leaders to answer questions about the data collected so far and to discuss next steps.
- Location Restrictions
The CCR rule established location restrictions for coal ash storage sites. It requires that storage site locations be evaluated regarding proximity to groundwater aquifers, wetlands, fault areas, seismic zones and unstable areas (example: presence of quicksand).
AEP and SWEPCO recently completed the required review of location restrictions for Turk Plant’s landfill. This review found that landfill at Turk Plant meets all location restrictions.
- Next Steps
SWEPCO will continue to monitor the landfill twice each year as required by the CCR rule.