Environmental Groups Ask DEP to Reject Hatfield’s Ferry Landfill
Washington PA Observer-Reporter
4 June 2015
By Bob Niedbala, Staff Writer
WAYNESBURG – Two environmental groups asked the state Department
of Environmental Protection to deny FirstEnergy’s request for a
permit revision to allow it to use the landfill at its closed
Hatfield’s Ferry Power Plant in Monongahela Township to dispose of
coal ash from a Beaver County power plant.
Earthjustice and Sierra Club submitted a letter to DEP Tuesday
criticizing FirstEnergy’s plan to use the 107-acre coal ash
landfill at Hatfield’s Ferry to dispose of ash from the company’s
Bruce Mansfield Power Plant in Shippingport.
FirstEnergy proposed shipping the material more than 100 miles by
river barge to the Hatfield’s Ferry site. The company is looking
for a place to dump coal ash from Bruce Mansfield because the
plant’s existing landfill, Little Blue Run, must be closed by the
end of 2016 under a DEP consent agreement.
Residents who attended a DEP public hearing May 21 on the permit
revision in the Carmichaels High School auditorium all spoke
against the plan.
“This proposal is another toxic insult to neighbors in
Greene and Fayette counties,” Earthjustice attorney Charles
McPhedran said in a news release. “Pennsylvania DEP must deny the
In their letter, the two groups threatened to file a lawsuit if
DEP fails to reject FirstEnergy’s permit revision.
“Before DEP even considers allowing FirstEnergy to dump more
dangerous ash at this site, the company needs to clean up the
existing mess,” said Tom Schuster of Sierra Club. “We’ve known
about this pollution for years and it still hasn’t been cleaned
up, which doesn’t inspire a lot of confidence in FirstEnergy.”
Speaking at the public hearing, Schuster said pollution problems
at the Hatfield’s Ferry landfill already are pervasive. Well
monitoring indicated arsenic and other pollutants migrated from
the site, he said.
A DEP official at the hearing said Schuster was referring to an
older part of the landfill that is unlined and is no longer in
use. That portion of the landfill continues to be monitored, he
The proposed permit revision is only for the new part of the
landfill, which is a “state-of-the-art facility using the most
up-to-date engineering standards,” FirstEnergy spokeswoman
Stephanie Walton said Thursday. The landfill has a synthetic
liner, a water treatment system and monitoring wells, she said.
DEP spokesman John Poister acknowledged Thursday the department
received the letter from the groups. “We are going to consider it
along with the other comments we received during the public
comment period,” he said.
The comment period ended Wednesday and the application is now
under review, Poister said.