Following Seneca Lake Guardian’s repeated Efforts, EPA Says Lockwood Coal Ash Landfill Compliance Not “Optional”
DRESDEN, NY - As Greenidge Power Plant strives to convert to a large data storage facility in order to justify its existence, the facility, which used to be a coal burning plant, has a legacy of a toxic coal ash landfill called the Lockwood Landfill. While the public focus and media coverage has been primarily on the Greenidge Generation Power Plant, the Lockwood Ash Landfill where the coal ash was disposed of proves to be more of an immediate threat to the Keuka Outlet and Seneca Lake since this landfill, which was already in violation, has been discharging heavy metals into the groundwater.
Seneca Lake Guardian’s Research Director, Mary Anne Kowalski, first reported Lockwood to the EPA in October 2018. The EPA agreed, upon receipt of Seneca Lake Guardian’s documentation, that this landfill is still active and requires oversight by EPA. Lockwood’s attorneys had argued in a May 2019 letter to the EPA that “Coal Combustion Residual Rule ("CCR Rule") does not apply to the Lockwood Hills Landfill because no CCR material has been received by the Lockwood Hills Landfill since October 19, 2015.” Despite this, they stated that Lockwood would choose to comply and that they would let the EPA know when they had completed the CCR rule requirements. The EPA responded in a letter recently obtained by Seneca Lake Guardian that they appreciated the offer to choose to comply, but that it was really not an option. The letter went on to state that, “Based on EPA’s review…. (the) EPA has determined that CCR was placed in the landfill during 2015, 2016 and 2017.”
“Recent reports indicate that the Lockwood ash landfill in Dresden has exceedances for a number of heavy metals, despite a consent order signed in 2015, and that the Lockwood Landfill is not monitoring for all the EPA mandated coal ash groundwater contaminants. Seneca Lake Guardian will continue to test and monitor this situation”, said Joseph Campbell, President of Seneca Lake Guardian.
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