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FirstEnergy must shut down Beaver County facility
State complaint says the waste site lacks protective linings and leaks pollutants

Kelli Fitzpatrick
In The Region:

Akron-based FirstEnergy must shut down its coal-ash disposal pond in western Pennsylvania--the largest in the country--because it is leaking pollutants into groundwater.

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection has filed a consent decree requiring FirstEnergy to submit a closure plan within a year and to stop disposing of scrubber waste at what’s called the Little Blue Run by the end of 2016.

According to the state, waste collected from FirstEnergy’s Bruce Mansfield power plant is stored at Blue Run, which lacks liners and leaks sulfates and arsenic into local groundwater.

FirstEnergy spokesman Mark Durbin says liners were not required when the facility was built in the 1970s. The energy company plans to develop a replacement site.


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“We have been working on a process of possibly siting a new, state-of-the art disposal facility, one that would include a double liner, a leachate collection system and all that, somewhere probably adjacent to the Little Blue Run facility.”

Durbin says FirstEnergy also has a scrubber waste site in Stratton, Ohio, which meets environmental standards.

Listener Comments:

on one hand I am VERY happy to hear that "the blue lake" or "little blue" as we call it locally, will be closed. Maybe after some time First Energy will sell back some of the farm land and perhaps it will be useable again in the not to distant future. (They bought out a lot of local residents near the blue lake because their water supply was being contaminated, displacing dozens of families.)

On the other hand, from that last statement, it sounds like they're going to expand across the road on to another farm that (if I recall correctly, they bought within the past year or two). They won't be happy until they have bought all of Hookstown out and then there will be far less people to complain about the problem at hand.

Posted by: Patrick (Hookstown) on August 1, 2012 12:08PM
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