8:51am

Fri July 15, 2011
Environmental Watchdog

LG&E Issues Contradictory Coal Ash Study

Louisville Gas & Electric has released a second study on coal ash. It follows another thatshowed the company is possibly in violation of pollution laws. LG&E says this second report is more accurate, but it might not matter in the long run. People who live near the Cane Run Power Station have complained that fly ash is leaving the landfill and contaminating their homes. The first report, released earlier this week by LG&E, confirmed there were high concentrations of fly ash on their houses.

Now, LG&E has released a second report that relies on a different type of dust sampling. The first test collected dust directly off homes. The second collected dust passively from the air and found much lower concentrations of fly ash.

LG&E spokeswoman Chris Whelan says the results of the second test are more in line with what the company believes is happening at the plant.

“They’re not anomalies, they’re actually normal samples. Whereas the ones under the covered areas were really just kind of unexplainable for us.”

Louisville Metro Air Pollution Control District spokesman Matt Stull says the city will have to look at both reports before it decides whether remedial action is necessary. He says there could have been environmental factors that affected the passive dust sampling, something he says LG&E mentioned when they passed along the report.

“They indicated that day to us that it might have been conducted when there were days of a lot of rain and that would certainly affect how much fly ash is leaving their property, if any.”

LG&E is permitted to release a certain amount of ash out of their smokestack, and a very small amount of ash from their landfill and storage pond. But Stull says the city’s fugitive emissions rule would supersede the company’s permit, and particulate matter isn’t allowed to leave a worksite or pose a nuisance to neighbors.