LG&E, Metro Government Reach Settlement on Two Coal Ash Violations

by Erica Peterson on April 11, 2012

Louisville Gas and Electric has reached a settlement with Metro Government over complaints related to the coal ash landfill at the Cane Run power plant in Southwest Louisville.

LG&E has tentatively agreed to pay $19,500 to the Air Pollution Control District as penalties for two incidents last year where coal ash left the open-air landfill at Cane Run. The company will also donate $3,000 to the district’s Air Quality Trust Fund. The original penalties totaled $30,000.

This marks the resolution of two violations: one where the company’s sludge processing plant malfunctioned, sending clouds of dust into the air. The other was for allowing ash to leave the landfill and contaminate area homes—a charge the company denied.

The settlement also includes a compliance plan, which will require LG&E to apply dust suppressant to the open areas of the landfill and conduct visible emission evaluations of the sludge processing plant. LG&E Spokesman Chip Keeling called the settlement “reasonable” and says the company has already taken several steps to control dust.

APCD spokesman Tom Nord says it was in everyone’s best interest to reach a settlement, because the alternative—an administrative hearing—would have dragged on and probably achieved similar results. But he says the district will continue to monitor the situation at Cane Run.

“This may settle the two notices of violation that we had active but it’s not necessarily the end of our involvement with the Cane Run situation,” he said. “We’ll be back out there if the residents feel there are still dust problems. We’ll investigate, and we’ll go from there.”

Cane Run resident Kathy Little wasn’t impressed with the settlement. She says the community continues to have problems with dust from the landfill, and the district should have held out for the original penalty.

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