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EPA Raises Concerns About LG&E Plan For Trimble County Coal Ash Landfill

The Environmental Protection Agency has concerns about the environmental impact of a 218-acre coal ash landfill in Trimble County proposed by Louisville Gas and Electric.

LG&E is asking for permission to construct the landfill near its Trimble County power plant. If it’s permitted, the site will store coal ash—the waste that’s leftover after coal is burned. The company currently stores the Trimble County plant’s ash in an impoundment pond, but the pond is getting full and the company needs to find somewhere else to store the ash.

The EPA’s Region 4 office sent a letter to the Army Corps of Engineers yesterday, outlining its opposition to the project. In the letter, the EPA raises issues with the landfill’s affect on more than 54,000 feet of ecologically-sensitive streams and an acre of wetlands.

EPA Region 4 Administrator Gwen Keyes-Fleming also suggests LG&E may have overestimated the coal ash it will need to store in the landfill. In the letter, Keyes-Fleming says LG&E officials have indicated they plan to re-use some of the coal ash, but didn’t take that into account in the calculations of the landfill’s volume. She suggests a smaller landfill would have less effect on the environment.

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LG&E Faces Resistance From Neighbors, Geology on Proposed Trimble County Ash Landfill

Louisville Gas and Electric is meeting resistance from residents and the state Division of Waste Management over a proposed coal ash landfill near its Trimble County power station.

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The company already stores ash—which is the waste that’s leftover after coal is burned—in landfills and ponds at its Mill Creek and Cane Run power plants in Louisville. It has an ash pond at Trimble County, but the pond is almost full.

Kelley Leach has 150 acres on a ridge above LG&E’s plant outside Bedford. And he’s right across the street from the proposed site of the 218 acre coal ash landfill.

“Start right here,” Leach points. “This is where LG&E’s property starts right here. And every bit of this woods and stuff you see now will be gone.”

As Leach drives down the country roads, we pass farms, some with cows and horses grazing. There’s woodland, and an occasional ravine. Most of this land is owned by Louisville Gas and Electric.

“This is still part of their property, there used to be a homestead right here that was part of neighbor’s of ours,” he said. “This is my house here, the yellow one. This is my grandmother’s right there.”

His grandmother has been living on the land for 70 years. If LG&E’s permit is granted, Leach expects their homestead to be within sight of the new coal ash landfill.