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EPA Taking Necessary Steps to Ensure Safety of Alliant Energy Corporation's Coal Ash Impoundments at Burlington, Iowa

Release Date: 05/05/2011
Contact Information: Chris Whitley, 913-551-7394, whitley.christopher@epa.gov

Environmental News

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

(Kansas City, Kan., May 5, 2011) - As part of an ongoing comprehensive review of the structural integrity of coal ash impoundment sites nationwide, EPA has required additional testing to ensure the safety and determine any corrective action necessary for five coal ash impoundments at the Alliant Energy Corporation’s Interstate Power and Light facility in Burlington, Iowa.

EPA does not believe the impoundments are at immediate risk of failure given the currently available information. There are no residents in the immediate area surrounding the facility, but out of an abundance of caution EPA has notified Alliant and Iowa officials of the need for further testing to fully determine the impoundments’ structural integrity.

EPA’s primary concerns have to do with two of the impoundments’ abilities to withstand a potential seismic event, and one of those two impoundments’ ability to manage its projected coal ash volumes.

Alliant has been working cooperatively with EPA to gather additional information and to carry out preventive measures to ensure the public’s safety. To that end, EPA is exploring necessary steps to ensure the integrity of the impoundment areas. EPA has been coordinating these activities with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.

As part of its response to the December 2008 coal ash spill from a Tennessee Valley Authority facility in Kingston, Tenn., EPA has been assessing the structural integrity of coal ash impoundments across the nation. As of April 2011, EPA has conducted structural integrity assessments for 381 coal ash impoundments at 152 coal-fired power plants.

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Learn more about Alliant Energy Corporation’s Interstate Power and Light facility in Burlington, Iowa

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