"Lakeland Officials Nervous About Financial Fallout From Fly Ash Pile"

"LAKELAND -- A hulking mountain of ash sitting inside the Lakeland city limits isn't exactly a point of pride, but city officials would rather see it stay than go."

"The landmark-sized mound is made up of more than 100,000 tons of fly ash, a byproduct of coal combustion, produced at the nearby C.D. McIntosh Jr. Power Plant.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is wrapping up an effort to collect public comment on its push to label the ash a hazardous waste, which could affect the mountain and could spark expensive changes to the way Florida power plants operate.

For most states, the new classification would mean updating the protections at existing plant landfills to ensure security against groundwater contamination. But in Florida, where state statute prohibits the operation of hazardous waste landfills, Lakeland city officials said they are nervous about potential financial repercussions, likely in the millions of dollars."

Chase Purdy reports for the Lakeland Ledger November 13, 2011.

Source: Lakeland Ledger, 11/14/2011