FirstEnergy to Ship Coal Ash Downriver to Moundsville
Murray subsidiary to reuse coal combustion residuals
3 December 2016
By Casey Junkins, Business/Energy Writer
MOUNDSVILLE–Via four or five Ohio River barges per day, coal ash
waste from the FirstEnergy Corp. Bruce Mansfield Plant in
Shippingport, Pa. will travel to the Murray Energy Corp.
reclamation site near Moundsville.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency defines coal ash as the
remnants of the mineral burned during electricity generation.
Though technically “non-hazardous” material, the product contains
trace amounts of materials such as mercury, cadmium and arsenic,
which the EPA believes can harm air and water supplies.
“The company plans to send 80 percent of the coal combustion
residuals produced at Bruce Mansfield to the Moundsville site for
reclamation,” FirstEnergy spokeswoman Stephanie Walton said
Gary Broadbent serves as a spokesman for Murray, which now refers
to the complex once known as the McElroy Mine as the Marshall
County Coal Co.
“The Marshall County Coal Co., a subsidiary of Murray American
Energy Inc., confirms that it is working closely with FirstEnergy
Corp. to beneficially reuse coal combustion residuals from the
Bruce Mansfield Plant, in Shippingport, Pa., at Marshall County’s
reclamation site in Moundsville,” Broadbent said.
Neither Murray nor FirstEnergy would confirm the exact location of
the reclamation site.
Coal ash is not necessarily garbage. According to the Duke
University Center for Sustainability and Commerce, rare earth
elements are also prevalent in Appalachia coal ash.
Some of these rare earth elements, often used in personal
electronic devices, can fetch more than $2,000 per pound on the
Rated at 2,490 megawatts, the Bruce Mansfield plant is the largest
generating station in Pennsylvania, capable of producing enough
electricity to power about 1.5 million homes. It also is one of
the most highly controlled facilities in the country, utilizing
scrubbers, selective catalytic reduction technology and other
advanced environmental equipment.
“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,” Don Moul, senior
vice president of Fossil Operations and Environmental for
FirstEnergy said. “After thorough consideration, the company
determined that this option provided the most environmentally
sustainable and cost-effective solution.”
Approximately 80 percent of the Bruce Mansfield Plant’s coal ash
will be used for mine reclamation, while the remainder will
continue to be recycled into drywall by National Gypsum at its
production facility located in Shippingport.
Prior to shipment, excess moisture from the coal ash will be
removed at the Mansfield plant’s new $260 million dewatering
facility. FirstEnergy currently places a portion of its materials
at the Little Blue Run disposal facility that straddles the line
between Hancock County and Pennsylvania, which the company can no
longer use beyond Dec. 31.