Press Release | June 13, 2016

SELC Statement on Georgia Power’s Announcement to Cease Operating All Coal Ash Ponds in Three Years

Atlanta — Today, Georgia Power Company announced it will cease all operations of all coal ash ponds within three years. In response, the following statement is from Kurt Ebersbach, senior attorney with the Southern Environmental Law Center.

“It is only appropriate that Georgia Power remove coal ash from its leaking, unlined pits across the state, as utilities in South Carolina and North Carolina have already done. But this welcome development raises more questions than it answers.  If removing coal ash from leaking, unlined pits is appropriate for smaller sites as Georgia Power is now proposing, how can cap in place be the right solution for much larger sites where the ash ponds are literally hundreds of acres in size?

To protect our clean water and drinking water supplies, Georgia Power must move all of its coal ash to safe, dry, lined storage out of Georgia’s groundwater and away from Georgia’s drinking water supplies and rivers–as is happening across the state line in South Carolina, where coal ash pollution has plummeted as a result.”

Background: Earlier this year, SELC filed official comments with the Georgia Environmental Protection Division urging the agency to require Georgia Power to excavate its coal ash from leaking, unlined pits and protect Georgia’s drinking water supplies.