LG&E and KU began putting plans in place several years ago to move the company’s plants toward dry special waste landfills. The company’s special waste landfill designs permitted since 2010 incorporate all current environmental requirements and are consistent with the new federal standards.
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.
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.
Now that the EPA released the final Effluent Guidelines, we are working to assess the ruling in its entirety and determine the most appropriate site-specific modifications necessary to meet the final requirements.
We will continue to evaluate the operational impacts of the rule and the best course of action for compliance, while balancing our regulatory requirement to provide energy in the least-cost manner.