SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WAND) - City Water, Light and Power in Springfield recently had a request to extend the use of its ash ponds denied by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
CWLP officials said they learned Tuesday about the denial, in which EPA leaders claimed what the organization submitted wasn't complete or justified. The ponds had been used for disposing generation plant wastewater and water treatment plant lime product.
The EPA decision called for a public comment period, which would start Jan. 25 and run to Feb 23, as part of a proposed revised deadline. The government said the Dallman and Lakeside ash ponds of CWLP must stop receiving waste 135 days after the comment period and its final decision with comments is published.
CWLP officials said depending on when the EPA puts its publication through, the revised deadline means later in 2022, and it argued Springfield will not have a permitted option for disposing of the materials the ash ponds are used for. They said they will have to stop operating the Dallman 4 power plant and the water plant until new disposal options for those waste streams are permitted and constructed.
CWLP leaders said they will again issue comments requesting an extended deadline that goes to October 2023. This will allow the use of ash ponds for disposal until there are new facilities in place, thus keeping electric and water services available for customers and avoiding "unnecessary costs," per a CWLP press release.
“It is unfortunate that the EPA made a decision without fully understanding the ramifications to our electric and water customers," said CWLP Chief Utility Engineer Doug Brown. "We believe we made a clear and concise application pointing to the exact issues as to why we need time to mitigate new disposal options and have no choice but to work within the time constraints of our current ash pond closure plan along with time to complete construction of our new lime lagoon for the water plant.”
More to come.