We’re working to safeguard our communities.
There are 12 coal-fired power plants in Georgia, all with coal ash ponds on site. 11 of the 12 plants have contaminated groundwater with one or more toxic pollutants; ten of these are owned by Georgia Power. Plant McManus in Brunswick did have unlined ponds but will be excavated under the final rules from the EPA, which require all unlined coal ash ponds to be closed (i.e. excavated, retrofitted, or capped in place), even when contamination is not detected.
Fortunately, Georgia Power plans to excavate all coal ash ponds along the coast. The waste can be recycled into products like cement or can be sent to landfills. While this process is underway, One Hundred Miles is continuing to advocate for state laws (such as House Bill 93) that will improve the transparency of the decommissioning process. And we’re working with our Georgia Water Coalition partners to hold power companies accountable for handling coal ash waste properly.
In 2020, OHM advocated in support of SB 123 at the General Assembly. This bill successfully closed a dangerous loophole that had limited landfill fees for coal ash to just $1/ton, less than household garbage. SB 123 raised the coal ash fee to $2.50/ton, to be in line with household garbage, and made changes that give communities more flexibility in spending the revenue from this surcharge. These changes will prevent Georgia from becoming the Southeast’s dumping ground for out-of-state coal ash.