Grayson confident in leachate disposal process

Published 12:21 pm Friday, March 5, 2010

While there are known dangers associated with coal ash leachate, Demopolis Mayor Mike Grayson said he’s confident the process and safeguards in place are more than adequate to protect the city and its people.

“This is not Emelle,” Grayson said of the Sumter County hazardous material dumping site. “All we’re taking is liquid. This water has to go somewhere and the fact that Demopolis has the capacity to safely process this is a good thing.”

Emelle is largely considered the home of the largest hazardous waste landfill in the country.

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Grayson said the Demopolis facility only accepts liquid that passes a rigorous testing and will refuse and shipment that doesn’t pass the test.

The Demopolis Water and Sewer Board is preparing to respond to a Florida Environmental Attorney who has notified the Board of his intent to sue, citing violations of state water discharge regulations.

Leachate is the liquid-based sludge that accumulates in a landfill.

Millions of tons of coal ash have been arriving at the landfill daily by rail since July. The substance, known to contain harmful toxins and heavy metals, spilled from a Tennessee Valley Authority power plant in December 2008.

It is shipped mixed with water, which prevents the particulate ash from scattering during the trek to Perry County.

The Demopolis Treatment Plant has been accepting and processing the leachate since December 2009, although Ludder Claims it did not have the required permits to do so.

For more, please see the Weekend edition of the Demopolis Times.