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Rochelle Routman, PG Environmental Specialist Georgia Power

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Presentation on theme: "Rochelle Routman, PG Environmental Specialist Georgia Power"— Presentation transcript:

1 Rochelle Routman, PG Environmental Specialist Georgia Power
Ash Management from Coal Fired Power Plants Current Practices and Potential Impact of Proposed EPA Regulation Rochelle Routman, PG Environmental Specialist Georgia Power

2 Georgia Power: Who we are
Largest of four Southern Company electric utilities 2.3M+ customers 8,600 employees Nearly 13,000 miles of transmission lines 70,000 miles of distribution lines High customer satisfaction Rates below the national average Gulf Power Mississippi Power Georgia Alabama Alabama Power Georgia Power

3 Coal US Resources The US has the largest reserves of coal in the world
Based on current consumption, there is about 200 years of accessible coal remaining to generate energy

4 Energy Generation Coal is Vital
45% of energy generated in the US is from coal About 11% renewables, including hydro Energy efficiency, clean coal technology, and renewables are necessary to meet energy needs of the future

5 Ash A coal combustion byproduct
Bottom Ash Falls to the bottom of the furnace Sluiced to an ash pond Fly Ash Collected by electrostatic precipitators Either sluiced to an ash pond or handled in a dry landfill

6 Composition of Ash Dependant on coal source, combustion, etc.
Generally consists of silicon, aluminum, iron, and calcium Also contains trace amounts of heavy metals, such as arsenic, selenium, chromium Is classified as an industrial solid waste

7 Ash Handling Facilities
Ash Landfill Ash Pond

8 Southern Co Ash Handling Practices
Fly Ash Production 2009: 3.9 Million Tons Bottom Ash Production 2009: 1.0 Million Tons Fly Ash Management 2009 (% of total) Bottom Ash Management 2009 (% of total) Wet -- 29% Wet --74% Dry -- 71% Dry -- 26% Dry includes landfilling and sending directly to silo for beneficial reuse

9 Southern Co. Beneficial Reuse About 30% Annually
Bottom Ash Top Ash Replacement for naturally mined aggregate (clay and shale) Road base Concrete block Cement manufacturing Ready-mix concrete One ton of fly ash used as replacement for cement conserves landfill space to hold about 1200 lbs of waste, reduces the equivalent of 2 months of an automobile’s CO2 emissions, and saves the same amount of energy used by an average home for 19 days (US EPA, April 2005, EPA-530-K ) Cement is the “glue” that binds together concrete to form a hardened product. Technical benefits include increased strength, workability, and durability as well as lower cost

10 Georgia Power Ash Dam Safety
Inspections Annual Weekly Daily Training Vegetation control Instrumentation Ash dam inspection by plant personnel

11 CCB Regulation Currently exempt from RCRA regulation
Bevill Amendment Regulated as an industrial waste in Georgia December 2008: Tennessee Valley Authority impoundment failure Triggered ash pond dam inspections and proposed CCR rule 1980 Congress enacted the Solid Waste Disposal Act Amendments to RCRA, also known as the "Bevill Amendment," which excluded coal ash from Subtitle C regulation.

12 TVA Kingston, TN Spill December 22, 2008
Failure of dam containing fly ash Approximately 5.4 million cubic yards of fly ash sludge were released into branch of Emory River

13 TVA Kingston, TN Spill

14 TVA Ash Spill Root Cause Analysis
According to TVA’s web site: High water content of the wet ash Increasing height of ash Construction of the sloping dikes over the wet ash Unusual bottom layer of ash and silt

15 EPA Ash Pond Inspections
As a result of TVA spill, EPA contractors inspected ash impoundment dam integrity Tremendous effort by both EPA and the utilities Each ash pond received condition rating Reports are posted on EPA web site

16 EPA Ash Dam Inspections Condition Ratings
What it means EPA rating of 228 units inspected to date ( Satisfactory No safety deficiencies 106 Fair Acceptable performance 67 Poor Remedial action/ investigations needed 55 Unsatisfactory Unsafe; immediate action required

17 Georgia Power Ash Dam Inspections Condition Ratings
What it means EPA rating of 25 units inspected to date ( Satisfactory No safety deficiencies 22 Fair Acceptable performance 2 Poor Remedial action/ investigations needed 1 - Conditional Unsatisfactory Unsafe; immediate action required Ash Pond 2 - AP 2 was rated poor in the draft report because further critical studies or investigations were needed to identify potential dam safety deficiencies. SCECS has provided additional information to address most the critical issues. Acceptable performance is expected under all required loading conditions (static, hydrologic. seismic) in accordance with the applicable safety regulatory criteria. However, the potential for scour of the riverbank exists. That potential will require special or extra inspections.

18 New Ash Rules Propose to Regulate CCRs = Coal Combustion Residues
CCRs generated by electric utilities and independent power producers CCRs destined for disposal in Landfills or Surface impoundments

19 EPA’s Proposed Ash Rule: Two Main Options
RCRA Subtitle C Option: Hazardous waste regulation RCRA Subtitle D Option: Non-hazardous, solid waste regulation RCRA Subtitle D “Prime” Option Slight variation of Subtitle D Option—“Useful Life”

20 Common Requirements Between Subtitles C and D
Dam Safety requirements Design construction/maintenance documents; closure plans; inspections ; annual certification by an independent PE Groundwater monitoring and Liners Corrective action Used when contamination is detected

21 RCRA Subtitle C Option “Special Waste” classification
Subject to most hazardous waste requirements Includes CCRs intended for disposal, not CCRs intended for beneficial use Federal permit required Regulation from generation to disposal Including during and after closure of disposal unit

22 RCRA Subtitle C Option Some Industry Implications
Ash Pond phase-out Shortage of hazardous waste handling facilities White House Council on Environmental Quality: Classifying ash as hazardous waste will add about 130 M tons annually to the 2.5 M tons of hazardous waste now disposed of annually Likely decline in beneficial reuse due to stigma American Concrete Association: Designation of fly ash as a ‘hazardous waste’ will likely eliminate its inclusion in future project specifications for fear of possible legal exposure and liability. Designation as “special waste” will most likely not encourage beneficial reuse EPA believes it will increase beneficial reuse EPA deleted C2P2 website

23 RCRA Subtitle D Option State-led approach; no federal permits
EPA has no direct role Performance Standards More focused on performance than Subtitle C Option E.g., national performance criteria for safe disposal in landfills

24 RCRA Subtitle D Option Some Industry Implications
Retrofit existing surface impoundments with composite liners within 5 years - or close. Except for D Prime option Effect of phasing out surface impoundments Capacity shortages Still higher costs; rate recovered

25 Public Comment Closing date November 19, 2010
EPA received 450,000 comments Latest newsflash: Rule will not be finalized in 2011, due to the large amount of comments that EPA must review

26 Proper management of CCBs is an important part of the process of providing reliable, affordable, and environmentally responsible energy

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