News | August 22, 2012

Utility agrees to clean up coal ash dump near Columbia, SC

Faced with SELC legal action, South Carolina Electric & Gas has agreed to clean up two coal ash ponds south of Columbia that have been discharging arsenic into groundwater and the Catawba-Wateree River for decades.

We resolved the case in August with a binding commitment from SCE&G to remove all of the more than 2.4 million tons of toxin-laden coal combustion waste from the unlined lagoons and to accelerate a schedule it had set for decommissioning the dump site.

Under the agreement, all of the ash will be transferred to a lined, dry landfill away from the Catawba-Wateree River or recycled into industrial materials. “Old coal ash ponds like these are polluting rivers all over the South,” said SELC senior attorney Frank Holleman. “This agreement, when fulfilled, will provide a model for how a utility can improve the way it handles the toxic waste produced by coal-fired power generation.”