LG&E withdraws permit application for second Cane Run coal ash landfill

LG&E announced today that they have cleared enough hurdles to finalize their conversion to a natural gas plant on Cane Run Road, which means that they will now withdraw their permit for a second coal ash landfill.

From their release:

With nearly all of the permits secured for the new natural gas combined-cycle generating station, Louisville Gas and Electric Company has withdrawn the Cane Run landfill permit application from the Division of Waste Management.

“We are pleased to be moving forward with our natural gas combined-cycle generating unit,” said Paul W. Thompson, senior vice president, Energy Services. “We have done extensive analysis, and by maximizing our existing landfill and ash pond capacities, it’s safe to say that LG&E will no longer need to build the additional landfill originally planned at Cane Run.”

After studying the available space in the existing landfill, the company determined that on-site options will meet the storage needs until the NGCC is placed into operation. The withdrawal of the landfill permit application amounts to a savings of about $54 million, which was the estimated total capital cost of the proposed four-phase landfill expansion.

Cane Run resident Kathy Little — who has battled with the company over their current landfill blowing coal ash onto their property across the street — tells LEO that this is a big victory and a step in the right direction.

But Little knows that for the next few years, the problem that has plagued her community remains: the coal ash landfill that is still operational and turning the neighborhood into a toxic dust storm, as happened two weeks ago:

LG&E’s press released stated that “A mechanically stabilized earth wall — similar to those seen along expressways — will be installed to better utilize the remaining space within the existing landfill. No permit modification is necessary for this type of wall since it does not change the footprint of the existing landfill.”

Little wants to hear more details about that plan, and considering LG&E’s past obfuscation and failure to correct the coal ash problems, she is justifiably skeptical.


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