We received approval in 2016 from the Kentucky Public Service Commission to cap and close the remaining coal ash ponds at our active and now-retired plants.
LG&E and KU began putting plans in place several years ago to move the company’s plants toward dry special waste landfills.
Our special waste landfill designs permitted since 2010 incorporate all current environmental requirements and are consistent with the new federal standards.
We will also continue to beneficially use coal combustion byproducts — which is used to create products like concrete, wallboard and fertilizers, in accordance with regulatory requirements.
The nearly $1 billion ash pond cap-and-closure projects are expected to continue through 2023.
Ash Storage Impoundment Integrity Programs
We have stringent ash storage impoundment integrity programs at our facilities for all of our ash ponds to ensure the structural integrity is sound. Our impoundments are inspected by state and federal agencies, third-party engineering firms, as well as our company and plant engineers. As part of our inspection processes, we actively monitor our ash ponds, verify the structural integrity and conduct preventative maintenance.
Emergency Action Plans
In addition, we have emergency action plans for all LG&E and KU dams classified as high hazard. It's important to note that the high hazard classification is not a measurement of the dam's structural integrity, but rather on the potential for damage if the dam were to fail.
Consistent with standard industry practice, these emergency action plans are closely managed and shared strictly with emergency management authorities responsible for responding at a company facility.
We take aggressive measures to protect our communities’ land and water resources, and we continually invest in our facilities to comply with local, state and federal environmental regulations. This includes monitoring, measuring and reporting our facilities’ performance to the appropriate regulatory agencies.
All of our power plants are required by current state wastewater discharge permits to monitor for various metals on a quarterly basis and report them to the Kentucky Division of Water.
We also are moving forward and putting plans in place to meet new water quality standards established by Kentucky. Our plans also will address future more stringent water quality standards that will be established under the EPA's Effluent Limitation Guidelines.
When standards are changed by the EPA or Kentucky, permits are updated to incorporate the new standards, and we modify our processes as necessary for compliance.