We’ve been following on this blog the response of Georgia Power to relatively new regulations put out by the Environmental Protection Agency dealing with coal ash disposal. For those who are unaware of the issue, coal ash is a toxic byproduct of coal combustion, and can pose serious risks to human health when its disposal is unregulated.
The Environmental Protection Agency passed new regulations last year that require routine testing of coal ash ponds and the shutting down of ponds which accumulate too many toxins. Georgia Power has been especially impacted by the regulations as there is a significant number of coal ash ponds under its care.
Georgia Power, in an effort to comply with the regulations, recently announced that it is developing a timeline for the closure of 29 ash ponds. Georgia Power is reportedly working with the Georgia Environmental Protection Division and the Georgia Public Service Commission in developing the plan. Sources don’t list the reasons for the closures, but presumably the reason is that they exceed the prescribed toxicity limits detailed in the EPA’s new regulations.
Georgia Power, like other power companies affected by the federal regulations, has to be mindful not only of ensuring compliance with these regulations, but also with doing so in a way that is economical for the business and its customers. Given that Georgia Power services 2.4 million customers and services all but four counties in Georgia, most of our Georgia readers also have an interest in the company’s efficient compliance efforts.
As we’ve mentioned before, navigating federal environmental regulations is not necessarily an easy matter. Even with guidance from regulators, companies can still be left in the dark about the best way to proceed with a compliance plan. Working with an experienced environmental law attorney can be helpful not only to ensure compliance, but also to ensure a company comes up with the most cost-efficient plan possible.