- Associated Press - Thursday, June 4, 2015

SHIPPINGPORT, Pa. (AP) - Environmentalists urged Pennsylvania officials to reject a proposal by FirstEnergy Corp. to ship coal ash from a Shippingport power plant to a site in the state’s southwestern corner.

The Environmental Integrity Project, Sierra Club and Earthjustice submitted a letter Tuesday that asked the Department of Environmental Protection to deny FirstEnergy’s application to modify a permit for the closed Hatfield Ferry power plant landfill, the Beaver County Times reported (http://bit.ly/1IgBXm3).

The Akron, Ohio-based company hopes to ship 2.5 million tons of coal ash per year by barge from the Bruce Mansfield plant to the Hatfield Ferry site.

The letter alleges the Bruce Mansfield coal ash is hazardous waste containing arsenic. The environmental advocacy groups contend FirstEnergy is unable to ensure that its plan will not cause additional air and water pollution.

They said the landfill’s location “increases the risks of groundwater contamination.”

FirstEnergy currently sends Bruce Mansfield plant waste to the Little Blue Run coal ash impoundment on the Pennsylvania-West Virginia border. The company will no longer be allowed to pump waste there after December 2016 because of its impending closure.

Little Blue Run has been a source of tension between FirstEnergy and residents who say contaminated waste has leaked from the unlined impoundment into the surrounding ground.

The environmental groups said they will consider pursuing legal action if the DEP does not deny FirstEnergy’s application.

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Information from: Beaver County Times, http://www.timesonline.com/

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