Beaver County’s ‘Little Blue Run’ coal ash site to close sooner
Plant owner must contain pollution
By Don Hopey / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
April 3, 2014 – The largest coal ash impoundment in the United States — Little Blue Run in Beaver County — will be closed and capped and mostly contained by its owner three years earlier than the company first proposed, under a new plan announced by the state Department of Environmental Protection Thursday.
The closure plan now requires Akron, Ohio-based FirstEnergy Generation LLC to complete all of the state-required work at the 1,900-acre impoundment by the end of 2028. A December 2012 federal consent order required the company to stop disposing of coal ash by the end of 2016, in part because seepage of pollutants from the unlined impoundment has contaminated groundwater and surface water in the area.
"We want to see it done sooner rather than later," said John Poister, a DEP spokesman. "It’s a big undertaking, but we think that it can be done in a little less time than FirstEnergy wanted, so we pushed for that."
FirstEnergy submitted a closure plan in October 2013 that the DEP said contained more than 160 deficiencies, including a failure to acknowledge arsenic contamination of groundwater around the impoundment.