New public hearing date set for Gadsden coal ash pond closing

By CAROLINE BECK, Alabama Daily News

A public hearing on an Alabama Department of Environmental Management permit for the closing of a coal ash pond in Gadsden is now scheduled for next week.

The hearing is to allow the public to comment on the proposed plan for ongoing monitoring and mitigation plans for groundwater contamination at Alabama Power’s Gadsden plant.

Two previous hearings concerning two other Alabama Power coal burning plants and the closing of its coal ash ponds have already happened in recent weeks.

The rescheduled hearing will be at 6 p.m. Tuesday,  in the Beck Conference Center at Gadsden State Community College, 1001 George Wallace Drive, Gadsden. The original hearing was scheduled for Oct. 29 but was postponed after Hurricane Zeta left widespread power outages and dangerous road conditions.

Those who wish to speak at the public hearing are encouraged to preregister with ADEM or can send in their comments through mail or email. Those wishing to submit a written comment now have until 5 p.m. on Nov. 17.

Once all public comments are in ADEM will review them and respond to each. Department Director Lance LaFleur told ADN that process could take about a month to accomplish and he estimates that the permits could be finalized near the beginning of December.

You can view the permit HERE and more details about the public hearing HERE.