This post is from Neil Sardana from the Sierra Club

You would think that if Georgia Power wanted to create the largest coal ash site in Georgia to permanently store their toxic coal ash, that they wouldn’t leave it sitting on unstable ground known for massive sinkholes, right!?!

Unfortunately, we can’t count on Georgia Power to prioritize safety and our health and water, because they are asking permission from Georgia Environmental Protection Division (EPD) to store over 20 million cubic yards of toxic coal ash at Plant Bowen on top of unstable land prone to sinkholes known as karst terrain.

Regardless of Georgia Power’s plan to install a liner at Plant Bowen Ash Pond 1 (AP-1), leaving toxic coal ash there puts our water and health at risk due the site’s potential for a sinkhole to cause the liner to fail and spill millions of tons of ash directly into Euharlee Creek or the Etowah River.

In 2002, a four-acre wide sinkhole opened underneath Plant Bowen AP-1, releasing 2.25 million gallons of coal ash into Euharlee Creek. This spill resulted in arsenic levels rising to 1,250 parts per billion, more than 120 times the federal drinking water standards, and forcing downstream public drinking water intakes to suspend operation.

Additionally, multiple sinkholes formed at AP-1 in December 2008, also caused by the unstable karst terrain. If another sinkhole were to occur at Bowen, millions of tons of toxic coal ash waste could spill into Euharlee Creek and the Etowah River, which are directly next to the ash pond.

With your support we can make sure that Georgia Power is held accountable and required to store their toxic coal ash safely in lined landfills on stable ground away from waterways.

Thank you for your support!
Neil Sardana
Organizing Representative
Beyond Coal Campaign