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EPA Releases Survey Results on Coal Ash Impoundments

Release Date: 09/08/2009
Contact Information: Latisha Petteway,, 202-564-3191, 202-564-4355

WASHINGTON - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is making information publicly available from electric utilities on the management of coal combustion residuals contained in surface impoundments and similar management units. Following the coal ash spill at a Tennessee Valley Authority facility in Kingston, Tenn., EPA requested the information from electric utilities to inform an assessment of the structural integrity of the surface impoundments. The responses from electric utilities cover 584 units from 219 facilities.

In addition, EPA is conducting on-site assessments of the coal ash impoundments and ponds at electric utilities.
EPA will assess by the end of the calendar year all of the units that have a dam hazard potential rating of "high" or "significant" in the responses provided by electric utilities to EPA’s information request. The hazard potential rating refers to the potential for loss of life or damage if there is a dam failure. The ratings do not refer to the structural stability of the dam. Dams assigned the high hazard potential rating are those where failure or misoperation will probably cause loss of human life; dams assigned a significant hazard potential rating are those where failure will not probably cause loss of human life but can cause economic loss, environmental damage, or damage to infrastructure (for example, roads and bridges). The results of this effort will be posted on EPA’s Web site as final reports are completed.

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