General James M. Gavin Power Plant Fly Ash Pond

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General James M. Gavin Power Plant Fly Ash Pond is a coal ash disposal site associated with General James M. Gavin Power Plant, owned and operated by American Electric Power subsidiary Ohio Power Company near Cheshire, Ohio.

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Site data

Information below derived from EPA's Coal Ash Survey database;[1] GPS coordinates courtesy of Earthjustice researchers.

  • Owner: Ohio Power Company
  • Parent company: American Electric Power
  • Associated coal plant: General James M. Gavin Power Plant
  • Location: Cheshire, OH
  • GPS coordinates: 38.9300, -82.1200
  • Hazard potential: High
  • Year commissioned: 1974
  • Year(s) expanded: 1987
  • Material(s) stored: Fly ash
  • Professional Engineer (PE) designed?: Yes
  • PE constructed?: Yes
  • PE monitored?: Yes
  • Significant deficiencies identified: None
  • Corrective measures: None
  • Surface area (acres): 324
  • Storage capacity (acre feet): 23,365
  • Unit Height (feet): 144
  • Historical releases: None
  • Additional notes:

Associated coal waste site

Coal Ash Waste and Water Contamination

In August 2010 a study released by the Environmental Integrity Project, the Sierra Club and Earthjustice reported that Ohio, along with 34 states, had significant groundwater contamination from coal ash that is not currently regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The report, in an attempt to pressure the EPA to regulate coal ash, noted that most states do not monitor drinking water contamination levels near waste disposal sites.[2] The report mentioned Ohio based Cardinal Plant, Gavin Plant, Industrial Excess Landfill Superfund Site and the Muskingum River Plant as all having groundwater contamination due to coal ash waste.[3]

Coal waste in the United States

A January 2009 study by The New York Times following the enormous TVA coal ash spill found that there are more than 1,300 surface impoundments across the U.S. containing coal waste, with some sites as large as 1,500 acres.[4] Also in January 2009, an Associated Press study found that 156 coal-fired power plants store ash in surface ponds similar to the one that ruptured at Kingston Fossil Plant. The states with the most storage in coal ash in ponds are Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky, Georgia and Alabama. The AP's analysis found that in 2005, 721 power plants generating at least 100 MW of electricity produced 95.8 million tons of coal ash, about 20 percent of which - or almost 20 million tons - ended up in surface ponds. The rest of the ash winds up in landfills or is sold for other uses.[5] In June 2009, EPA released its list of 44 "high hazard potential" coal waste sites, which included 12 sites in North Carolina, 9 in Arizona, 6 in Kentucky, 6 in Ohio, and 4 in West Virginia.[6] The full list is available here.

Drinking water contaminated with hexavalent chromium from coal may cause cancer

A report released by EarthJustice and the Sierra Club in early February 2011 stated that there are many health threats associated a toxic cancer-causing chemical found in coal ash waste called hexavalent chromium. The report specifically cited 29 sites in 17 states where the contamination was found. The information was gathered from existing EPA data on coal ash and included locations in Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, Massachusetts, North Carolina, North Dakota, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virgina and Wisconsin. In North Carolina, the Dan River Steam Station in Eden, the Asheville Plant in Asheville and the Cape Fear Steam Plant in Montcure all were reported as having high levels of chromium seeping into groundwater.[7]

As a press release about the report read:

Hexavalent chromium first made headlines after Erin Brockovich sued Pacific Gas & Electric because of poisoned drinking water from hexavalent chromium. Now new information indicates that the chemical has readily leaked from coal ash sites across the U.S. This is likely the tip of the iceberg because most coal ash dump sites are not adequately monitored.[8]

Other coal waste sites

To see a nationwide list of over 350 coal waste sites in the United States, click here. To see a listing of coal waste sites in a particular state, click on the map:

<us_map redirect=":Category:Existing coal waste sites in {state}"></us_map>

Citizen groups

Resources

References

  1. Coal Ash Survey Results, Environmental Protection Agency, accessed December 2009.
  2. "Study of coal ash sites finds extensive water contamination" Renee Schoff, Miami Herald, August 26, 2010.
  3. "Enviro groups: ND, SD coal ash polluting water" Associated Press, August 24, 2010.
  4. Shaila Dewan, "Hundreds of Coal Ash Dumps Lack Regulation," New York Times, January 7, 2009.
  5. Dina Cappiello, "Toxic Coal Ash Piling up in Ponds in 32 States," Associated Press, January 9, 2009.
  6. Shaila Dewan, "E.P.A. Lists ‘High Hazard’ Coal Ash Dumps," New York Times, June 30, 2009.
  7. "EPA’s Blind Spot: Hexavalent Chromium in Coal Ash" Earthjustice & Sierra Club, February 1, 2011.
  8. "Coal ash waste tied to cancer-causing chemicals in water supplies" Alicia Bayer, Examiner.com, February 1, 2011.

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