Environmental Protection

Agency Designates 44 'High Hazard Potential' Impoundments

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has posted a list of 44 "high hazard potential" impoundments containing coal combustion residuals, commonly referred to as coal ash, at 26 different coal burning electric utility facilities.

EPA is releasing this information after interagency coordination with FEMA's Risk Analysis Division Mitigation Directorate and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. A high hazard potential rating is not related to the stability of those impoundments but to the potential for harm should the impoundment fail.

"By compiling a list of these facilities, EPA will be better able to identify and reduce potential risks by working with states and local emergency responders," said EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson.

The list of units was compiled from information submitted to EPA by the electric utilities in response to the agency's March 9 information request. The 44 units will receive high priority attention during the impoundment safety assessment.

EPA has committed to proposing regulation on the management of coal combustion wastes by Dec. 31, 2009.

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