FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 29, 2009
EPA Posts List of 44 “High Hazard Potential” Coal Ash Waste Impoundments
WASHINGTON – As part of its ongoing efforts to protect human health and the environment, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has posted a list of 44 “high hazard potential” impoundments containing coal combustion residuals, commonly referred to as coal ash, at 26 different coal burning electric utility facilities. EPA is releasing this information after interagency coordination with FEMA’s Risk Analysis Division Mitigation Directorate and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Designating these units reflects EPA’s commitment to assessing risks and vulnerabilities in order to protect critical infrastructure—and the American people—from disaster. A high hazard potential rating is not related to the stability of those impoundments but to the potential for harm should the impoundment fail.
“The presence of liquid coal ash impoundments near our homes, schools and business could pose a serious risk to life and property in the event of an impoundment rupture” said EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson. “By compiling a list of these facilities, EPA will be better able to identify and reduce potential risks by working with states and local emergency responders.”
Following the failure of an impoundment at the TVA facility in
The list of units was compiled from information submitted to EPA by the electric utilities in response to EPA’s March 9, 2009 information request. The 44 units will receive high priority attention as EPA continues its assessment of impoundment safety.
As announced by EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson, on March 9, 2009, EPA has committed to proposing regulation on the management of coal combustion wastes by December 31, 2009.
More information on the list of the units and other information on EPA’s efforts in this area: http://www.epa.gov/epawaste/nonhaz/industrial/special/fossil/ccrs-fs/index.htm
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