Ohio forests and other landowners are preparing for the prospect of a proposed new “coal ash” pond that would be built to capture and store coal ash, and they say they are comfortable with the proposed design.
The Forest Service and Ohio Power & Light Corp. have proposed a new ponds in western Ohio that would contain 2.2 million tons of coal ash and could have a net-zero emissions rate of just 4 percent by the end of the century, according to a draft Environmental Impact Statement submitted to the agency.
The proposed coal ash pond is about the size of two football fields, the size and shape of a football field and would be located at a site on a lake near the town of Franklin, where there are no roads or other barriers.
The ponds would be dug from the lakebed and the ash would be transported by a water-borne conveyor system from the pond to the pond’s surface, according the draft EIS.
Ohio Power &Light plans to use the ponds for two years to determine how best to capture the ash, which would then be transported to a nearby landfill where it would be burned to generate electricity, according a statement from the utility.
The utility has not yet finalized the details of the proposed ponds, but the draft is expected to provide information about how it plans to process the ash and how it will use the coal ash for electricity generation.
In a letter to the commission, the utility said the pond would have a low greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and that it would have the highest GHG emissions of any proposed coal-fired power plant.
The letter said the ponds would “provide an opportunity for the community to gain an understanding of the potential for the use of this waste material to meet the GHG emission reduction goals and to gain more information about the potential environmental benefits of this process.”
The Ohio Power&Light company said in the letter that it plans on installing a waste treatment system in the pond that will take the ash from the ponds into the river, where it will be converted to a gas.