"Mill Creek Ash Pond Considered 'High Risk'"

"U.S. Environmental Protection Agency inspectors say a large ash pond at LG&E's Mill Creek power plant is close enough to homes and a school to be classified as high risk.

The proposed classification, which it at odds with a state risk assessment, reflects the concern that a sudden collapse of the walls around the 79-acre pond could send wet ash gushing toward Robert Frost Middle School and homes in an adjacent Valley Station neighborhood.

The inspectors also cited the pond’s risk to the environment and the Ohio River, concluding that a failure could release ash into the river, “damaging the surrounding area, wildlife and habitat, and threatening the drinking water supplies of the downstream communities.”

The EPA inspectors’ recommendation doesn’t mean they’ve detected a change in the stability of the 38-year-old pond, but it reflects the agency’s move to more closely scrutinize ash ponds since a massive ash slide in Tennessee in December 2008."

James Bruggers reports for the Louisville Courier-Journal April 20, 2010.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010