Georgia Power exec: Closing coal ash ponds will still leave contaminated groundwater

Four coal ash ponds Georgia Power plans to close in place will continue to expose ash to groundwater after the closures are completed, an executive with the utility disclosed this week.

Ash ponds at Plant Hammond near Rome, Plant McDonough south of Vinings, Plant Yates near Newnan and Plant Scherer near Macon are among 10 ash ponds Georgia Power plans to close in place by 2028. Ash from the utility’s other 19 ponds at coal plants across Georgia will be closed by excavating and removing the ash.

Aaron Mitchell, Georgia Power’s director of environmental affairs, testified on the second of two days of hearings before the state Public Service Commission (PSC) on a plan the utility submitted in January outlining the mix of energy sources it intends to rely on for power generation during the next 20 years.

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