After a disastrous
Tennessee coal-ash flood
in 2008, environmentalists have increased their scrutiny of the giant holding ponds at coal-fired power plants. The stepped-up scrutiny aims both to monitor flood danger and to monitor the impact on ground water from the ponds, which are often full of burnt coal's toxic remains.
The Sierra Club has now released a national report, which includes a detailed look at the embattled Portland General Electric coal plant in Boardman.
That Eastern Oregon plant is located near one of the state's largest agricultural operations, Threemile Canyon Farm..
Here's an excerpt from the report
"Groundwater underneath a 40 acre ash disposal area, seven industrial waste water ponds and a 1,500 acre closed-loop reservoir at the Boardman Plant has been contaminated in excess of Oregon groundwater standards, EPA Maximum Contaminant Levels (MCLs) and Secondary MCLS since 1981," the report says. "A farming operation has been using large volumes of water from the closed-loop lake since 2001 despite the plant's disposal of bottom ash drain water and other liquid industrial wastes into this reservoir."