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Additional Information Regarding Alliant Energy Corporationís Facility in Burlington, Iowa
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EPA has posted additional information on Alliant Energy Corporations facility in Burlington, Iowa. As part of comprehensive review of the structural integrity of coal ash impoundment sites nationwide, in May 2011, EPA announced that several coal ash impoundments at the Alliant Energy Corporation facility in Burlington, Iowa required additional safety testing. On July 6, 2011, EPA announced it had concluded its review of an independent investigation at the Alliants Burlington facility. 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.
EPAs concerns regarding Alliants coal ash impoundments were based on information in a structural stability report commissioned by the company in response to EPAs assessment. Subsequently, a more in-depth study concluded that all of the ponds at the Burlington facility met acceptable factors of safety. 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.
Please note that initially, Alliant asserted a claim of business confidentiality on many of the materials displayed here. Although these documents are still marked Confidential Business Information, Alliant has subsequently withdrawn its confidentiality claims.
- Aether Supplemental Pond Analysis (PDF) (91 pp, 7.2MB)
A letter to Alliant from their contractor, Aether DBS, dated June 1, 2011, with a supplemental pond analysis verifying that static and seismic loading conditions are USACE acceptable.
- Dewberry and Davis Review of Dewberry Supplemental Analysis (PDF) (7 pp, 301K)
EPA directed Dewberry and Davis to review the Aether DBS supplemental pond analysis. In a memorandum to EPA, dated, June 6, 2011, concurs with Aetherís findings that acceptable safety factors are being met.
- Memorandum of EPAs Findings (PDF) (2 pp, 481K)
A memorandum dated June 6, 2011 summarizing EPAs conclusions based on reviewing the above reports.
- EPA letter to Alliant Confirming Findings (PDF) (2 pp, 66K)
EPA letter dated July 5, 2011, notifying Alliant of Aethers findings and that EPA has concluded that the Burlington facilitys ponds meet acceptable safety factors.
- Draft EPA Site Assessment Report (PDF) (227 pp, 43.4MB)
This assessment of the stability and functionality of the Burlington Generating Station Fly Ash management units is based on a review of available documents and on the site assessment conducted by an EPA contractor, Dewberry and Davis, dated October 7, 2010. Because the technical documentation regarding the ash management units at the facility lacked critical engineering and hydrologic/hydraulic analyses, EPA determined that the ash management units should be initially rated poor pending further investigation.
- Alliant Report in Response to EPAs Draft Site Assessment Report (PDF) (8 pp, 7.7MB)
EPA provided Alliant a copy of the draft Site Assessment Report. In response, on February 3, 2011, Alliant provided EPA a report titled Ash Pond Slope Stability and Hydraulic Analysis Burlington Generating Station-Burlington IA, prepared by their contractor Aether DBS. This study evaluated the stability of the ash ponds under a 100-year storm event flow and for both seismic and rapid drawdown induced loadings.
- Dewberry and Davis Analysis of Alliants Report (PDF) (6 pp, 1.6MB)
EPA directed Dewberry and Davis to review the Aether DBS report noted above. In a memorandum to EPA, dated March 18, 2011, Dewberry concurred with the Aether DBS reports limited conclusions, but given the potential catastrophic failure under seismic conditions that would result in the contents of the Burlington CCR impoundments spilling into the Mississippi River, Dewberry recommended specific and immediate actions to be taken by the utility.
- EPA Letter Requesting Response to Findings (PDF) (2 pp, 350K)
EPA letter to Alliant Energy, dated March 18, 2011, indicating significant structural stability concerns at the Burlington Generating Station.
- Alliant Response Letter (PDF) (8 pp, 1.8MB)
Alliant Energys response, dated March 23, 2011, to EPAs March 18 letter regarding concerns of the Burlington Generating Station, agreeing to EPAs short-term recommendations.
- Recommended Immediate Actions (PDF) (2 pp, 520K)
Dewberry Memorandum to EPA, dated March 24, 2011, outlining recommended short-term immediate actions to reduce risk of Economizer Ash Pond failure
- EPA Letter Requesting Additional Actions (PDF) (2 pp, 129K)
In a letter to Alliant, dated March 29, 2011, EPA summarizes previous discussions and asks Alliant to take additional actions.
- Alliant Letter Response to EPA Concerns (PDF) (2 pp, 30K)
Alliants letter in response to EPA, dated April 5, 2011, with supporting documents:
- Alliant Memorandum (PDF) (4 pp, 95K)
Internal Memorandum specifically addressing some of the additional activities requested in EPAs March 29 letter;
- Photograph of Referenced Ash Pond (PDF) (1 pg, 262K)
- Aether Memorandum (PDF) (56 pp, 4.6MB)
Memorandum from Aether DBS to Alliant Energy, Response to additional activities request, dated April 4, 2011.
- Alliant Memorandum (PDF) (4 pp, 95K)
- Cover Letter (PDF) (3 pp, 40K)
Letter from EPA to Alliant Energy, dated July 26, 2011, enclosing the final report for the Burlington Generating Station facility.
- Final EPA Site Assessment Report (PDF) (475 pp, 25.4MB)
This assessment of the stability and functionality of the Burlington Generating Station Fly Ash management units is based on a review of available documents and on the site assessment conducted by an EPA contractor, Dewberry and Davis, dated June 2011. Further tests showed the concerns of the earlier studies to be unfounded. The utility, at the behest of EPA, took specific actions and changed its operating procedures in ways to significantly reduce the potential for failure of the Economizer Ash Pond and ash management system. Based on those findings and actions, the Ash Seal Pond, Main Ash Pond, Upper Ash Pond, and Economizer Ash Pond ratings are considered "satisfactory".
- Alliant Energy IPL Burlington Station Draft FINAL (PDF) (380 pp, 34.19MB)