MISSOULA — Plans are in the works to clean up ponds of toxic coal ash at Colstrip Power Plant.
Coal ash is the byproduct of burned coal.
Apparently, the ponds filled with it have been leaking contaminants like boron, sulfate and lithium into the groundwater.
The cleanup project is set to cost up to 240 million dollars.
Crews would install well to draw out the water and pump clean water into the ground to circulate out the toxins.
The following is a press release from the Montana Department of Environmental Quality:
HELENA – The Montana Department of Environmental Quality is seeking public comment on the Units 1 and 2 Revised Remedy Evaluation Report, Part 2 submitted by Talen Montana, LLC, (formerly PPL Montana). Talen, the operator of the Colstrip Steam Electric Station, was required to submit the report under the Administrative Order on Consent (AOC) between DEQ and Talen. The AOC requires an investigation and remediation of groundwater contamination caused by leaking ash ponds. The report has been split into two parts. The first part of Talen’s proposed remedy addressed the control of existing groundwater contamination through a capture and clean water injection well system. This part was conditionally approved by DEQ in June 2020. The second part of the report addresses prevention of future groundwater contamination by controlling the source (the Stage I and Stage II Ponds). Alternatives presented range from capping and closing the ponds in place, to full excavation and removal of the ash to a new, lined landfill that would be constructed on Talen’s property. Talen has identified a partial removal alternative as their preferred remedial alternative. This would consist of removing ash that would be within 5 feet of the high groundwater table, placing the ash elsewhere in the existing pond footprint, and capping the Stage I and Stage II Ponds. DEQ is currently reviewing the report and will select a remedy after public comments are collected and reviewed. Copies of the reports are available at DEQ’s office at 1520 E Sixth Ave, Helena; Talen Montana’s office, 303 N Broadway, Suite 400, Billings; and the Bicentennial Library, 419 Willow Ave, Colstrip. The reports are also available by accessing “Documents” at: http://deq.mt.gov/DEQAdmin/mfs/ColstripSteamElectricStation The report is now available for public review and comment. DEQ will accept public comments on the report through Oct. 26. DEQ will host a remote public meeting on Oct. 14 at 7 pm, and will present details on the remedial alternatives discussed in the report. A recording of the meeting will be made available on DEQ’s website. For details on how to submit comments or access the public meeting, please visit the DEQ website at: http://deq.mt.gov/public/publiccomment DEQ will make reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities who wish to participate in the meeting. If you require an accommodation, please contact Sara Edinberg at least one week before the meeting at 406-444-6797 or by email at: email@example.com