ALABAMA DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT
NOTICE OF A PROPOSED COAL COMBUSTION RESIDUALS PERMIT UNDER THE ALABAMA SOLID WASTES & RECYCLABLE MATERIALS MANAGEMENT ACT AND REQUEST FOR COMMENTS
PUBLIC HEARING NOTICE – 422
Notice is hereby given that Alabama Power Company submitted to the Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM) an application for the initial issuance of the Coal Combustion Residuals (CCR) Permit to Close for the Plant Gorgas Ash Pond, Gypsum Pond and Bottom Ash Landfill and CCR Permit to Operate for the Plant Gorgas CCR and Gypsum Landfill at the William C. Gorgas Electric Generating Plant (Permit No. 64-12).
The Plant Gorgas Ash Pond is a CCR surface impoundment located in Sections 20, 21, 28 and 29, Township 16 South, Range 6 West in Walker County, Alabama consisting of approximately 1467.01 acres with a disposal area that consists of approximately 423.32 acres.
The Plant Gorgas Gypsum Pond is a CCR surface impoundment located in Section 13, Township 16 South, Range 6 West in Walker County, Alabama consisting of approximately 57.10 acres with a disposal area that consists of approximately 18.70 acres.
The Plant Gorgas Bottom Ash Landfill is a CCR Landfill located in Section 17, Township 16 South, Range 6 West in Walker County, Alabama consisting of approximately 287.06 acres with a disposal area that consists of approximately 44.92 acres.
The Plant Gorgas CCR and Gypsum Landfill is a CCR landfill located in Section 13, Township 16 South, Range 6 West in Walker County, Alabama consisting of approximately 287.06 acres with a disposal area that consists of approximately 44.04 acres. The waste stream for the Plant Gorgas CCR and Gypsum Landfill would be CCR, including fly ash, bottom ash, boiler slag, and flue gas desulfurization materials generated from burning coal for the purpose of generating electricity. The service area for the Plant Gorgas CCR and Gypsum Landfill would be Alabama Power Company. The maximum average daily volume of waste disposed at the Plant Gorgas CCR and Gypsum Landfill would be 2,000 cubic yards/day.
The proposed permit would require the Permittee to manage CCR in accordance with the conditions of the proposed permit, ADEM Admin. Code r. 335-13-15, “Standards for the Disposal of Coal Combustion Residuals in Landfills and Surface Impoundments,” and the approved permit application.
Groundwater monitoring and corrective action requirements in the proposed permit establish a groundwater monitoring system of wells that provides an accurate representation of the groundwater quality underlying the units and a groundwater monitoring plan to establish appropriate sampling and analysis of the system to detect the presence of CCR constituents. For units where CCR constituents exceed acceptable levels, the proposed permit establishes corrective action requirements to remediate contamination caused by the units.
Closure criteria in the proposed permit establish requirements for all units to close in accordance with specified standards and timeframes. Post-closure criteria in the proposed permit require each unit be maintained for a period of time after closure, including maintaining groundwater monitoring and corrective action to ensure the long term safety of units that are closing.
Operating criteria in the proposed permit establish requirements for the disposal of CCR in all units approved to accept waste, including the allowable waste streams and daily volumes permitted to be disposed of, plans to control fugitive dust, run-off and run-on and inspection requirements.
The Permittee must comply with all conditions of the proposed permit except to the extent and for the duration such noncompliance is authorized by a variance granted by ADEM. The first variance requests the final grade of the cover system be less than 5 percent and greater than 25 percent for the Plant Gorgas Ash Pond, Bottom Ash Landfill and CCR and Gypsum Landfill. The second variance requests using erosion control measures, as specified in the Permit Application, other than horizontal terraces, for the Plant Gorgas Ash Pond.
Previously approved variances to exclude boron as an Appendix IV assessment monitoring constituent and from 335-13-15-.06(6)(h)2., to the extent that provision precludes the use of federal groundwater protection standards (GWPS) of 6 micrograms per liter (µg/L) for cobalt; 15 µg/L for lead; 40 µg/L for lithium; and 100 µg/L for molybdenum are no longer necessary because the Department amended ADEM Admin. Code r. 335-13-15 on February 15, 2021 to remove boron as an Appendix IV constituent and establish GWPS for Cobalt at 6 µg/L, Lead at 15 µg/L, Lithium at 40 µg/L and Molybdenum at 100 µg/L in order to maintain consistency with the federal regulations. Therefore, these variances have not been included in the draft permit.
Notice is also hereby given that ADEM has scheduled a public hearing, to receive oral comments on the proposed initial issuance of the CCR permit noticed herein, to be held on December 16, 2021, in Parrish, Alabama 35580 at the Parrish Town Hall located at 6484 Highway 269 at 6:00 PM.
The purpose of the public hearing will be for interested parties to make oral and written comments into the public hearing record. Those wishing to make oral comments at the public hearing are also encouraged to submit those comments in writing. All comments must address the conditions of the proposed permit; the Department’s adherence to the applicable environmental laws, rules, and regulations in development of the proposed permit; or issues that have an impact on the applicant’s ability to meet applicable environmental laws, rules, and regulations to affect the final permit decision. In order to affect final decisions, comments must offer technically substantial information that is applicable to the proposed permit.
Copies of the public hearing notice, proposed permit and applications (Ash Pond Part A, Ash Pond Part B, Gypsum Pond, Bottom Ash LF, CCR/Gypsum LF Part A, CCR/Gypsum LF Part B) are available for public inspection electronically via http://adem.alabama.gov/newsEvents/pubHearings.cnt and the complete application is available at the following location Monday – Friday (except legal holidays), 8:00 am to 5:00 pm by appointment. A nominal fee for copying and/or mailing may be charged. Arrangements for copying should be made in advance.
Russell A. Kelly, Chief
Permits and Services Division
1400 Coliseum Blvd.
[Mailing address: PO Box 301463; Zip 36130-1463]
Montgomery, Alabama 36110-2400
Special Public Hearing Procedures Due to COVID-19 Pandemic:
Any person wishing to participate in this hearing who needs special accommodations should contact the ADEM Permits and Services Division at (334) 271-7714 at least five working days prior to the hearing.
Attendance at the public hearing is not necessary in order to have comments included in the public hearing record. Written comments received prior to the close of the public comment period will also be considered and entered into the public hearing record and will be given the same consideration as those provided at the hearing. Persons wishing to comment may do so, in writing, to the Department's named contact above by 5:00 PM on December 23, 2021.
After consideration of all written comments, review of any public hearing record, and consideration of the requirements of the Alabama Solid Wastes & Recyclable Materials Management Act, and applicable regulations, the Department will make a final determination on the proposed permit. The Department will develop a response to comments, which will become part of the public record and be posted to the Department’s website at http://app.adem.alabama.gov/eFile/. To find the response to comments and final permit determination, you may search by the permit or facility number listed in this notice.
The Department maintains a list of interested individuals who are emailed legal notices regarding proposed permits. If you wish to receive such notices, please sign up at http://adem.alabama.gov/default.cnt by entering your email address on the left side of the page and clicking the submit button.
Notice is hereby given this 10th day of November, 2021, by authorization of the Alabama Department of Environmental Management.________________________
Nondiscrimination Statement: The Department does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, religion, age or disability in the administration of its programs.