LG&E Dismisses Metro Government Coal Ash Sampling; Releases New Data

by Erica Peterson on November 1, 2011

Louisville Gas and Electric says the company has found little evidence of coal ash settling on homes near its Cane Run Power Station. The company is dismissing sampling performed by Louisville Metro Government that showed ash was present.

Residents living near the Cane Run power plant in southwest Louisville say dust and coal ash leave the plant and the material is contaminating their homes. Since last summer, LG&E produced results of two different types of tests—and the results were contradictory.

Last month, Metro Government analyzed its own samples. It found fly ash on a home that was washed only three weeks earlier. But now LG&E has released NEW data that shows negligible quantities of ash.

LG&E spokesman Chip Keeling says the company has taken samples off six homes over a three month period.

“The freshly washed surfaces have been checked over the last three months, and it’s been less than 1 percent fly ash in that particulate,” he said.

Keeling added that some emissions are normal—and allowed.

“In any industrial setting, you’re going to have emissions,” he said. “And you’re allowed to have “x” amount, and we’ve been in compliance the entire time with the EPA and with the Pollution…well, with the EPA.”

Under its permit, the company is allowed to emit a certain amount from its smokestacks. But as far as the city is concerned, if dust poses a nuisance to an industry’s neighbors and limits their right to enjoy their property, the city can require the company to take remedial measures.

Terri Phelps of the Air Pollution Control District says the agency stands by its results. The agency will likely issue a notice of violation to LG&E for problems associated with coal ash dust sometime this week or next.

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