Major Development

Alabama Power says it will move Coal Ash

But Questions Remain

It’s not every day we get to share news that marks a potentially momentous milestone in our decade-long fight to protect the Delta and Bay from coal ash. The recent announcement by Alabama Power that they plan to recycle and remove 700,000 tons of coal ash a year from Plant Barry is one such moment. This move could be a game-changer in protecting the rich biodiversity of America’s Amazon and safeguarding the health of those living, working, and playing downstream.

Mobile Baykeeper and our members have been advocating tirelessly for this exact outcome. From countless water testing and permit hearings to community meetings, letter campaigns, and even litigation, it’s exciting to see a plan that mirrors what we have been calling for – the safe excavation and removal of coal ash.

However, let’s not lose sight of the fact that, as of now, these are plans, not legally binding commitments. The current approved plan, Alabama Power was quick to note, is still to cap the ash pond in place, which could leave millions of tons of ash by the Mobile River. Now we’re on the cusp of achieving a monumental victory. We need Alabamians to stand united in calling for the EPA to enforce a binding agreement with a clear timeline for the complete recycling, removal, and closure of the ash pond ensuring removal efforts take place expeditiously and are not stymied by an arbitrary deadline that’s shorter than the time necessary.

After years of advocating for the safe disposal of coal ash, the potential for a real solution, one that even defrays costs for the utility and lessens the financial burden on its customers, is within reach.

Yet, we remain cautiously optimistic. Until this plan becomes concrete reality (pun intended), we must continue our vigilance. The political winds can shift, and it’s crucial that this plan not only remains on course but also becomes a binding commitment.

A huge of debt of gratitude to the thousands of Baykeeper members and others who have been part of this journey – your support and efforts have been instrumental in reaching this point.

We’ve been fighting the coal-ash situation at Plant Barry for some time. Check out the graphic and revisit some of the milestones of the last decade.

Together, We’ve Been Fighting for a Long Time.

2024
Alabama Power’s Recycling Announcement:
Plans to recycle the coal ash at Plant Barry.

Learn More
2024
Judge Dubose dismisses Baykeeper’s federal lawsuit.

Learn More
2023
EPA Denies ADEM Permitting Program:
A significant regulatory development.

Learn More
2022
Lawsuit Against Alabama Power:
Baykeeper and SELC sue over illegal coal ash plan.

Learn More
2021
ADEM Approves Alabama Power’s Plan:
Greenlighting the “cap in place” strategy for the coal ash pond.

Learn More
2020
Public Hearings by ADEM:
Thousands of Alabamians say they do not approve of coal ash pond closure plans.
2019
Plans to Leave Ash In Place:
Despite threats to safety and waterways, Alabama Power submits plans to keep ash in place.

Read More
2018
Baykeeper Pollution Report:
Highlighting ongoing water pollution and potential risks of dam failure affecting the Delta and Mobile Bay.

Read our Report
2016-2018
Alabama Regulation Advocacy:
Pushing for Alabama’s environmental agency to ensure the ash will be stored safely.
2015
Coal Ash Rule:
Implementation of federal regulations on coal ash.

First Meeting with Alabama Power:
Starting direct engagement on coal ash issues.

First Sampling Efforts:
Baykeeper begins investigative efforts in coal ash data gathering.
2008
Kingson Coal Ash Spill:
A catalyst for increased awareness and advocacy in coal ash management.

Read the Story

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