Sunflower's Huge Waste Landfill Needs More Study
The Sierra Club today called for more study of the new combustion waste landfill that will serve Sunflower Electric's 2100 MW power plant expansion at Holcomb. The landfill is owned by Holcomb Common Facilities LLC. The Club's analysis of the permit application and associated documents found that the company plans to amass some 540 million cubic feet of coal ash, water treatment sludge and scrubber residues only a mile from the Arkansas River and over what the KDHE has designated as a sensitive groundwater area, and what the Kansas Geological Survey describes as highly permeable sand dunes.
The new landfill design does not call for a synthetic or impermeable liner under the waste to protect groundwater over the long term. The existing landfill was operated for 20 years with the monitoring wells in the wrong location, and insufficient data is available to assess pollutant migration.
"KDHE is applying a somewhat arbitrary standard that we feel is not appropriate for a waste material that will never break down and will sit forever over a highly vulnerable ground water resource," says Craig Volland, spokesperson for the Kansas Chapter. "For example, Sierra Club's experts have questioned what will happen after the owner is no longer required to maintain the facility ... after the vegetative cover dries up, and cracks and erosion accelerate percolation of precipitation."
On February 5, KDHE requested comments on the draft permit for the combustion waste landfill expansion. The original comment period was to end on March 16, but at the Sierra Club's request, KDHE has extended this deadline to April 6. A public hearing is being held in Holcomb on March 15. For more information see the fact sheet (below) or call Craig Volland at 913-334-0556.
For more info, see Holcomb Combustion Waste Landfill Fact Sheet
Alert: Holcomb Landfill Comments Needed