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EPA Review Finds Coal Ash Ponds at Alliant Energy Corporation in Burlington, Iowa, Meet Safety Standards

Release Date: 07/06/2011
Contact Information: Chris Whitley, 913-551-7394, whitley.christopher@epa.gov

Environmental News

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

(Kansas City, Kan., July 6, 2011) - As part of an ongoing comprehensive review of the structural integrity of coal ash impoundment sites nationwide, EPA has concluded its review of an independent investigation at the Alliant Energy Corporation’s Interstate Power and Light facility in Burlington, Iowa. The investigation finds that the five coal ash impoundments at the facility meet acceptable factors of safety. EPA agrees with the findings of this investigation.

EPA announced May 5, 2011, that it would require Alliant to perform additional testing of the impoundments, or ponds, to ensure their safety and determine any necessary corrective actions. Concerns about the ponds’ structural integrity were initially raised during a review of preliminary findings from a February 2011 report prepared by Alliant’s contractor, Aether DBS, which questioned whether some of the ponds at the Burlington facility met acceptable factor of safety ratings.

Subsequently, a more in-depth study by Aether DBS concluded that all of the ponds at the Burlington facility met acceptable factors of safety. A report of that study was provided last month to EPA. The Agency and its contractor, Dewberry & Davis LLC, reviewed the report and agreed with its findings. Alliant was notified yesterday of EPA’s agreement with the findings of the investigation.

Alliant, which has worked cooperatively with EPA in collecting reliable data about the impoundments, has committed to undertaking additional measures to further improve their stability.

EPA has been assessing the structural integrity of coal ash impoundments across the nation as part of its response to the December 2008 coal ash spill from a Tennessee Valley Authority facility in Kingston, Tenn. To date, EPA has conducted structural integrity assessments for more than 400 coal ash impoundments at 196 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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