FirstEnergy compelled to close Beaver County waste dump by end of 2016
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The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection is compelling FirstEnergy Corp. to close a 1,700-acre waste disposal site along the border with West Virginia, because it has no lining and appears to be leaking pollutants into ground water, according to a complaint and consent decree filed in U.S. District Court today.
The Little Blue Run waste impoundment, in Beaver County's Greene Township and stretching into Hancock County, West Virginia, has been receiving a steady flow of waste slurry, through an underground pipeline, from the Bruce Mansfield power plant since 1974, according to the department's complaint. Because rules in 1974 did not require linings on such waste sites, it has no lining.
Calcium, sulfates, chlorides and arsenic have been found in groundwater near the site, the complaint said. Despite a 2006 consent decree between the department and FirstEnergy, the company "has failed to conduct required groundwater assessment and abatement actions," it said.
So now, FirstEnergy has to close the site by the end of 2016, according to the new consent decree, signed by the company and department Thursday. The company must clean up or replace the water supply for any owner of property within half of a mile of the site, including 21 specified residences. And it must pay the department a penalty of $800,000, the decree said.
A FirstEnergy spokesman could not be immediately reached for comment.
First Published July 27, 2012 7:46 pm