Alabama Power hosted a meeting Monday in Gadsden on the company’s assessment of corrective measures to address groundwater protection standards.
Monday’s meeting at Gadsden State Community College gave customers and other meeting attendees the opportunity to talk with the company’s subject matter experts about the company’s close-in-place method of disposing of coal combustion residuals, commonly known as coal ash. The public meeting for Plant Gadsden is the sixth and final public meeting the company has held this year on its assessment of corrective measures, following a series of meetings over the summer. Following best practices and guidance from state health officials and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the company implemented safety precautions including 6 feet of social distancing, providing face masks for all attendees and multiple hand sanitizer stations.
“This meeting gave our customers an opportunity to discuss with company experts the safe closure of our ash pond at Plant Gadsden,” said Alabama Power Environmental Affairs Vice President Susan Comensky. “We appreciate everyone who came out to meet with us, provide comments and hear more about the merits of our closure plan and corrective measures.”
Plant Gadsden is the first coal ash pond across Alabama Power’s generating facilities to be securely closed, with the process completed in 2018 in compliance with Environmental Protection Agency and Alabama Department of Environmental Management guidance and regulations. The plant is also the birthplace of Renew Our Rivers, the annual volunteer river cleanup program, which has collected more than 15.5 million pounds of trash from Southeastern waterways since it began on the Coosa River in Gadsden in 2000.
“The community partners, volunteers and organizations who help us with Renew Our Rivers have made this effort truly sustainable,” said Alabama Power Environmental Affairs General Manager Mike Godfrey. “We are committed to keeping our waterways as clean as possible, through our compliance measures and initiatives like Renew Our Rivers.”
All information provided and discussed at Monday’s meeting can be accessed on the company’s website at alabamapower.com/environmentalmeetings. On the company’s website is also the ability to provide comment. Additional opportunities for public involvement and comment will be available through the Alabama Department of Environmental Management permitting process.