Coal Plant Public Hearing in Albany, GA 2017-05-04

Our neighbor Flint Riverkeeper Gordon Rogers requests people to come to Albany, GA for a coal ash public hearing. If you can’t go, please send in comments.

When: 7PM, Thursday, May 4, 2017

Where: Albany Technical College
Kirkland Conference Center
1704 S. Slappey Blvd.
Albany, GA 31701

What: Public Hearing about draft
National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit
for Georgia Power Company’s Plant Mitchell.

Why: It’s about coal ash.

Plant Mitchell (Georgia Power Co.) near Albany, GA 7/14/94. Photo courtesy of USGS. T.W. Hale, in Pamela P. Holliday, Sherpa Guides, unknown date, The Albany Levee: Trying to Tame the Flint.

Georgia Power proposed to convert Plant Mitchell from coal to biomass, but ended up closing it. That leaves coal ash ponds that have to be dewatered and the coal ash put somewhere for long-term storage. Power companies like to ship coal ash to local landfills; for example the landfill in Lowndes County Georgia accepted coal ash from TVA and from Florida.

There is no dewatering plan for Plant Mitchell on GA-EPD’s coal ash information page, so it will be interesting to see what is being proposed for this NPDES permit.

Here’s the GA-EPD announcement of March 31, 2017:

Public Hearing Information:

EPD will hold a public hearing at 7:00 p.m. on May 4, 2017. The hearing will be held at the Albany Technical College, Kirkland Conference Center located at 1704 S. Slappey Blvd., Albany, GA 31701. The purpose of the public hearing is to receive comments on the draft NPDES permit for Georgia Power Company—Plant Mitchell.

The public hearing is a formal process to receive comments on the draft permit. Participants who wish to comment for the record are requested to sign in upon arrival. Hearing participants will not be subject to questions from the audience, but may be questioned by the Hearing Officer for clarification of technical points or to develop a better understanding of statements. Questions asked by participants making statements will be answered by EPD in writing at a later date. Lengthy statements or statements of a considerable technical or economic nature should be submitted in writing for the official record. During the hearing, oral statements shall be limited to three (3) minutes to allow everyone an opportunity to be heard. Comments should be confined to water quality issues as they relate to the draft permit.

Written comments are welcomed. To ensure their consideration, written comments should be received by close of business on May 8, 2017. Please address written comments to the address listed below, or via e-mail at . If you choose to e-mail your comments, please be sure to include the words “NPDES Permit Issuance—Georgia Power Company—Plant Mitchell” in the subject line to ensure that your comments will be forwarded to the correct staff. The permit application, draft permit, comments received, and other information are available for review at 2 MLK Jr. Drive, Suite 1152E, Atlanta, GA 30334, between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. Please bring this notice to the attention of interested persons.

 -jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®

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