DEC reviews AES landfill discharge permit renewal

Staff Writer
The Chronicle Express

TORREY — The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is seeking public input about the renewal of a permit for run-off from the Lockwood flyash landfill owned by AES, the company that operates the Greenidge power plant located just south of the village of Dresden.

The landfill is used for the disposal of flyash from the coal-fired power plant, and the permit that’s under review is a State Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (SPDES) Permit.

David Persson, a DEC environmental engineer, explains the permits are reviewed for renewal every five years.

The permit allows the release of batches of water from a retention pond that collects storm water runoff and water leeching from the landfill. Water is released into the Keuka Lake Outlet after it is tested by an independent lab, and found to meet the guidelines of the permit, explains Persson.

The water is held in the pond and is tested by a certified lab before the valve is opened to allow a release of water. The test results are provided to the DEC on a quarterly basis.

Persson says the new permit requirements for mercury content have been revised.

Other requirements that have changed include the maximum temperature limit of 70 degrees F and a monitoring requirement for Boron has been added.

AES is permitted to transport 1800 tons of flyash per day to the landfill, but Persson said the company brought 100,000 tons to the site (less than 1/4 of the permitted amount) to the landfill last year.

In addition to the flyash, the landfill holds waste activated carbon which is used in the power plant to capture mercury as part of the air pollution controls at the plant.

Persson says AES is at the forefront of air pollution controls with the measures it has put into place over the past few years.

A representative from the plant is expected to attend the March 10 Torrey Town Board to review some of the changes that have taken place at the facility.

No representative from DEC will be at the meeting.

More information about the permit application can be found in the Feb. 25 Environmental Notice Bulletin found on the DEC’s website at www.dec.ny.gov/enb/20090225.

Information can also be found by contacting the DEC Region 8 office at 6274 E. Avon-Lima Rd., Avon, NY 14414-9519, email region@gw.dec.state.ny.us, phone 585-226-5324

Comments about the permit must be submitted by March 27 to Teresa Diehsner, NYSDEC Headquarters, 625 Broadway, Albany, NY 12233, phone (518)402-9167 or email depprmt@gw.dec.state.ny.us