Environment Local News

Metro Government Fines LG&E for Coal Ash Violations at Cane Run

Louisville Gas and Electric is facing a fine of up to $26,000. The penalty levied by Metro Government is in response to equipment malfunctions that caused clouds of coal ash to leave the company’s Cane Run plant.

The Notice of Violation–sent on Friday–alleges ash from LG&E’s Cane Run power station left the company’s property on several days last summer—on days when the company’s sludge processing plant was malfunctioning.

Residents living near Cane Run say fly ash leaves the company’s landfills and contaminates their homes on a daily basis, but the problem got worse for several days during the equipment failure.

Local News

News Special: Coal Ash

More than 90% of Kentucky’s electricity comes from burning coal, and coal ash is a byproduct. It’s the second-largest industrial waste stream in the nation — and as more pollution controls are put on power plants, the amount of caol ash is growing. Most of it ends up in landfills, but about 40% of the ash is recycled and used to make things like cement, and structural fill.

Residents living near power plants, like the Cane Run Power Station in Louisville, complain about air and water contamination, and say the industry should be better regulated. Utility companies, on the other hand, argue that they can safely store coal ash.

Today at 1pm, we’ll talk with coal ash experts — utility company representatives, academics, and environmentalists — and take your questions and thoughts about coal ash. Join us at 502-814-TALK (8255).

Need a refresher? You can listen back to our series on coal ash here:

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Environment Local News

LG&E to Meet with Cane Run Road Residents About Coal Ash Reports

Louisville Gas and Electric will hold a meeting with several southwest Louisville homeowners tonight to discuss the results of two recent studies about coal ash and the Cane Run Road power plant.

LG&E stores coal ash in landfills and in a pond on its property in southwest Louisville. Those who live near the plant have complained that ash is leaving the facility and contaminating their homes.

LG&E received two reports last week. The first contained results from dust sampling done on three nearby homes, and showed high concentrations of fly ash. The second had the results from more passive air sampling and showed much lower quantities of coal ash.

LG&E spokeswoman Chris Whelan says the company wants to meet with the residents whose homes were sampled to share the results.

“We wanted to sit down with them face-to-face and actually discuss the results and, you know, again, give them a tour of the facility, see what their neighbor is like and listen to their concerns,” she said.

LG&E’s permit allows a set amount of ash to come out of the smokestack and a smaller amount off the landfill, but if the ash poses a nuisance to neighbors the city can make the company fix the problem.