29 August 2010
The ash ponds inventoried so far take up 31,643 acres of area, or about 51 square miles.
During 2009, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sent out information requests to utilites in an effort to build a descriptive database of coal ash impoundments and similar facilities. The EPA will use the data to conduct a quality review.
As of August 2010, responses have been received from 228 coal power generating facilities operating a total of 629 surface impoundments. So far, using National Inventory of Dams criteria, the EPA has characterized 200 of the the ash ponds. Fifty of them were rated “High Hazard Potential” and seventy-one “Significant Hazard Potential.”
We’ve recently seen the tragic consequences of the failure of coal ash containment at the TVA-owned Kingston Fossil Coal Power Stationnear Harriman, TN.
The ash ponds inventoried so far take up 31,643 acres of area, or about 51 square miles. The EPA website provides summary tables in pdf and Excel formats. I look forward to doing some sorts and summary statistics on the data.