Georgia Power is excavating 19 coal ash ponds as it closes 29 ponds at 11 active and retired coal-fired power plants across Georgia, Kallanish Energy reports.
It has also closed 10 additional ponds that were closed in place using closure technologies.
The company said significant closure progress has been made with the 19 ponds being dewatered, excavating, installing specialized engineering controls and site remediation.
Dewatering is under way at six sites.
Detailed engineering design and early site preparation is progressing for the remaining 10 ponds.
The company plans to use 2 million tons of ash at its Plant Mitchell site to help make Portland cement.
Through July 31, 2020, about 11,100 tons had been removed from the pond to be recycled.
It would be the first beneficial use of ash stored in a Georgia pond.
In September 2015, Georgia Power had announced plans to permanently close all ash ponds with initial plans released in June 2016.
What the company is doing complies with federal and state rules on coal ash that can contain toxic heavy metals from the burning of coal. That ash poses a threat to groundwater and aquifers.
Since 2016, the company has installed more than 550 groundwater monitoring wells around its ash ponds and landfills.
In 2020 alone, there have been 1,292 groundwater samples collected and 54 groundwater reports completed, it said.
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