EKPC coal ash hauling resumes for final year

Published 11:02 am Thursday, April 13, 2017

Truckloads of coal ash returned to Clark County’s roads this week, for what is expected to be the final year.

Beginning in 2015, contractors for East Kentucky Power Cooperative began moving hundreds of thousands of pounds of used coal ash from its now-closed Dale Station power plant in Ford along the Kentucky River to its Smith Station property In Trapp for storage. 

Tuesday night, EKPC spokesman Nick Comer told a dozen county residents at a neighborhood meeting that the project is already a little ahead of schedule. 

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“This is the last summer we’ll be doing it,” Comer said. “Fingers crossed, we’ll be done this fall. We ran close to a month longer than we planned because November was so dry.”

In all, trucks will move about 560,000 tons of ash, which was produced after coal was burned to make electricity. It was stored in three ponds at Dale Station. EKPC built a dry landfill at its Smith Station property to store the ash.

Dale Station, a coal-fired electric plant, was closed about a year ago, though it still houses electric transmission lines. Comer said there are no immediate plans for the plant, though the material may eventually be salvaged.

Once the ash is completely removed, dirt will be brought in so the property can be graded down to the river and sown with grass seed.

“I think it’s gone as well as it could,” Clark County Judge-Executive Henry Branham said. “There’s been a few instances (of problems) but they’ve been few and far between.”