Colbert County

Notice is hereby given that Tennessee Valley Authority 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 Ash Pond 4 at the Colbert Fossil Plant (Permit No. 17-11).

The Ash Pond 4 is a CCR surface impoundment located in Sections 6 and 7, Township 4 South, Range 12 West in Colbert County, Alabama consisting of approximately 71.67 acres with a disposal area that consists of approximately 52 acres.

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.

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 Ash Pond 4. The second variance requests using erosion control measures, as specified in the Permit Application, other than horizontal terraces, for the Ash Pond 4.

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 August 4, 2022, in Sheffield, Alabama 35660 at the Sheffield City Hall located at 600 N Montgomery Avenue 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 application (Part A, Part B) are available for public inspection electronically via 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
(334) 271-7714

Special Public Hearing Procedures Due to COVID-19 Pandemic:

  1. Hearing Format.  In order to conduct an orderly hearing while adhering to the recommended social distancing precautions, the Department will conduct the public hearing as follows:
    1. The Department will call only one registered speaker into the hearing room at a time to provide their testimony. There will not be a general audience in the hearing room.
    2. Each registered speaker will be allowed no more than seven (7) minutes to present their testimony.  Speakers are encouraged to provide lengthy statements in writing, and to present a summary of their statement during their testimony.
    3. The Department will not allow registered speakers to enter the hearing room until they are called to give their testimony.
    4. The Department will require that speakers exit the hearing location after giving their testimony.
    5. The Department is not able to live stream the hearing or allow remote participation; however, the hearing proceedings will be recorded and placed on the Department’s YouTube channel at within approximately 24 hours of the conclusion of the hearing.
  2. Preregistration:  In order to allow social distancing by reducing the number of people gathered at the hearing location, the Department is offering preregistration to those who wish to speak at the hearing. 
    1. You may preregister at or, if any person does not have the ability to preregister online, they may call 334-274-4201 to preregister.
    2. Preregistration will end at 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, July 28, 2022, to allow the Department adequate time to notify the people that did preregister of their appointed time slots.  If you miss the preregistration deadline, on-site registration will be available.
    3. To preregister, you must be willing to provide either a valid email address or cell phone number so that the Department may notify you of your approximate time slot in which you will be called to speak.  You may not request a specific time slot.
    4. You should arrive at the hearing no more than 15 minutes before your specified time slot.  At that time, please enter the venue, and Department employees will alert you when it is your turn to speak.
  3. On-site Registration.
    1. The Department will conduct on-site registration for those that wish to speak at the hearing; however, preregistration is highly recommended.
    2. Upon registering, Department representatives will inform you of your approximate time slot in which you will be called to speak.  You will be instructed to return to the hearing location approximately 15 minutes before your time slot.
    3. Please note that the people that preregistered will be called to speak prior to those that register on-site.
  4.   Safety Precautions.
    1. All attendees will be required to wear masks within the hearing location; however, once called into the hearing room, adequate distancing will be established to allow the speaker to remove their mask while speaking.
    2. All attendees will be subject to temperature screening prior to entering the hearing location.
  5. Opening Statements by the Department.  Since the attendees will not be present in the hearing room while the Department provides its opening statements, links to the statements are provided below:
    1. Hearing Officer Statement
    2. Coal Combustion Residuals Permit

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 August 11, 2022.

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  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 by entering your email address on the left side of the page and clicking the submit button.

This notice is hereby given this 29th day of June, 2022, by authorization of the Alabama Department of Environmental Management.

Lance R. LeFleur

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.