Cap closures in Tennessee approved by federal environmental department

Monday, August 22, 2016 - 12:00am

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has concurred with the Tennessee Valley Authority’s (TVA) plans to close coal ash ponds by capping them in place. The EPA approved of  the Tennessee utility’s plan to close identified ash impoundments in place in accordance with the federal Coal Combustion Residuals (CCR) Rule.

In an environmental impact statement, TVA provided the first round of closure plans for ten coal ash ponds at six coal-fired power plants and outlined cap closure methods at every facility. In accordance with federal regulations, the utility plans to close its additional impoundments over the next decade. 

Cap closure involves removing water from the coal ash and installing a cap over the site to prevent rainwater from filtering into the material and increasing the risk of groundwater pollution. The EPA agreed with TVA that closure-in-place is the appropriate closure method.

You may view the letter of approval from the EPA here.
You may view the EPA’s cap closure guide here.