7:30am

Tue November 1, 2011
Environmental Watchdog

Coal Ash Pond Reclassified as ‘High Hazard’

The federal government has reclassified eleven coal ash ponds around the country as “high hazard.” A coal ash pond at Louisville Gas and Electric’s Mill Creek Power Station is one that changed classification.The Environmental Protection Agency rates a coal ash pond—used on site to store coal combustion byproducts—as ‘high hazard’ if it’s in an area where a breach could potentially result in loss of life.

The agency has been working to update its categorizations for the past two years. Some ponds are ranked incorrectly or not at all because of inconsistencies between state and federal classifications.

Now, thanks to updates, ten ponds around Kentucky have been upgraded to “significant” hazards. One of the ponds at LG&E’s Mill Creek plant that used to be ‘significant’ was reclassified as ‘high hazard.’

The coal ash pond that failed in Tennessee in 2008 was categorized as ‘low hazard.’