Coal ash landfill permits approved in Kentucky

Louisville Gas & Electric has attempted to receive the permit several times for more than five years.

February 22, 2017

Kentucky regulators approved a coal ash landfill in Trimble County, Kentucky, after more than five years of attempts to receive a permit, a report by WFPL says.

Louisville Gas & Electric (LG&E) initially filed for a permit for a landfill for the Trimble County Power Station in 2013 but was denied after a cave with possible historical and ecological significance was found on site. According to the report, the company currently stores its coal ash in ponds that are scheduled to be closed soon.

The permit, granted by the Kentucky Division of Waste Management, allows the company to build a 189-acre landfill near the site. According to the report, the landfill site houses areas with caves, sinkholes and underground springs, causing residents to be concerned of its environmental impacts.

The state Department of Waste Management said steps were being taken to ensure the protection of groundwater by ensuring LG&E will fill in any sinkholes or caves during the comment period for the proposed permit, the report says. The permit also does not allow the company to place waste above the uppermost layer of bedrock, the Laurel Dolomite. Since groundwater flow is not clear in that area, LG&E will have to submit a groundwater monitoring plan before placing ashes in the area.

According to the report, the new permit also will not impact the cave that originally caused the 2013 rejection, called Wentworth Cave, but the state says that it will affect more than 87,000 linear feet of streams, 2.6 acres of wetlands and half an acre of open pond.