Metro Government Plans to Fine LG&E for Recent Coal Ash Releases

by Erica Peterson on August 9, 2011

The Metro Air Pollution Control District says Louisville Gas & Electric will be penalized for clouds of coal ash that were released from a malfunctioning machine last week.

Residents living near the Cane Run Power Station reported seeing coal ash leaving the company’s landfill on Saturday, July 30. The company said the dust was caused by a mechanical error on their sludge processing plant–a machine that mixes coal ash with lime to create a cement-like material. Another release was documented last Thursday, as LG&E cleaned the machine in preparation for it to be fixed.

The notices of violation for these two incidents haven’t been issued yet, but APCD executive director Lauren Anderson said they will be soon.

At the same time, the district is still working with LG&E to resolve earlier complaints from Cane Run neighbors that coal ash has been contaminating their homes. Anderson says that in addition to a $4,000 fine, her staff has been meeting with LG&E to discuss remediation measures. She says those solutions may include greater communication with neighbors and the company washing nearby homes.

Besides removing coal ash from the houses, washing would also provide a baseline for future dust sampling, Anderson said. That future dust sampling is something LG&E and the Air Pollution Control District will be discussing this week.

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