First Energy Finds New Site For Coal Ash Disposal From Bruce
Washington PA Observer-Reporter
30 November 2016
By Bob Niedbala
First Energy Corp. has found a new site to dispose of coal ash
from its Bruce Mansfield Power Plant in Beaver County and no
longer intends to proceed with a plan to ship the materials to a
landfill at its shuttered Hatfield’s Ferry Power Station in Greene
The company had been considering shipping the coal ash and
scrubber waste to the landfill at Hatfield’s Ferry – located
across the Monongahela River from Masontown – and earlier received
a permit for the plan from the state Department of Environmental
The company announced Tuesday, however, it will instead ship the
materials by barge 77 miles down the Ohio River from the
Shippingport plant to a Marshall County Coal Co. mine reclamation
site in Moundsville, W.Va.
The landfill at Hatfield’s Ferry will continue to be considered as
a “back-up site,” should any issues arise regarding use of the
Moundsville property, First Energy spokeswoman Stephanie Walton
said Wednesday. The company is considering Hatfield’s Ferry as a
back-up to give it “as much flexibility as possible” in ensuring
the Bruce Mansfield plant can remain in operation, she said.
First Energy was required to find an alternative ash disposal site
for Bruce Mansfield by Dec. 31 under a DEP consent agreement to
close the plant’s exiting disposal site known as Little Blue Run.
The company held a public hearing in May 2015 on its plan to
dispose of the ash at Hatfield’s Ferry. The plan was strongly
opposed by local residents. The Sierra Club, in addition, filed a
legal challenge, citing allegations of existing pollution at the
Hatfield’s Ferry landfill.
The disposal of the materials at the Moundsville mine reclamation
site owned by the Marshall County Coal Co., a subsidiary of Murray
American Energy, is considered a “beneficial reuse” of the
materials, the company said.
“Selection of this site means that 100 percent of the coal
combustion residuals created at the Bruce Mansfield Plant will now
be sustainably recycled or beneficially reused,” First Energy
senior vice president Don Moul said in a release announcing the
new disposal plan.
“After thorough consideration, the company determined that this
option provided the most environmentally sustainable and
cost-effective solution,” he said.
About 80 percent of Bruce Mansfield ‘s coal waste will be used for
mine reclamation, while the remainder will continue to be recycled
into drywall by National Gypsum in Shippingport.
The Moundsville site is already permitted by the West Virginia
Department of Environmental Protection for the reuse of coal
combustion waste materials.
West Virginia supports the beneficial reuse of the material and
thousands of acres of former mines across the state have been
successfully reclaimed under West Virginia DEP’s oversight, the
company said. The materials are designated as a non-hazardous
material by state and federal environmental protection
First Energy plans to begin shipping the materials to the
Moundsville site, about four or five barges a day, in December.
Tom Schuster of the Sierra Club said his organization will
continue its appeal of the DEP permit issued for Hatfield’s Ferry.
In regard to the new plan, he said, the organization intends to
review it and is concerned that the use of the material for mine
reclamation could also lead to pollution leaching offsite.