ATLANTA, Sept. 28, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Georgia Power announced today that the company is developing a closure timeline for all of its 29 ash ponds and expects to finalize and release the schedule within the next six months. The schedule will be developed in response to the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) costly Coal Combustion Residual (CCR) Rule as well as the soon-to-be signed Steam Electric Effluent Limitation Guidelines. The company will consult with the Georgia Environmental Protection Division (EPD) and the Georgia Public Service Commission (PSC) to develop the plan.
"We are developing an ash pond closure timeline that will meet all federal regulations in the most economical way for our customers and our business," said Paul Bowers, chairman, president and CEO of Georgia Power. "Safety and compliance will continue to be our primary focus throughout the closure process, while fulfilling our longstanding commitment to protect the environment and the communities we serve."
Georgia Power has a strong safety and compliance record with a comprehensive and rigorous inspection program to safely maintain its containment structures and facilitate long-term planning. The company is in the pre-closure process at several retired or converted coal-fired generation sites which includes some preliminary site work such as ash relocation and tree clearing, as well as considering vendors for potential closure activities.
The company's 29 ash ponds are located around 11 coal plants across the state – Plant Bowen (Euharlee), Plant Branch (Eatonton), Plant Hammond (Coosa), Plant Kraft (Port Wentworth), Plant McDonough (Smyrna), Plant McIntosh (Rincon), Plant McManus (Brunswick), Plant Mitchell (Albany), Plant Scherer (Macon), Plant Wansley (Carrollton), and Plant Yates (Newnan).
The company delivers clean, safe, reliable and affordable energy through a diverse generation mix including nuclear, 21st century coal and natural gas, as well as renewable sources such as solar and wind. As the company has increased its use of natural gas, renewable and other non-coal sources of generation over the past decade, its production of coal ash and other byproducts has significantly declined, and it now recycles more than 50 percent of its current production.
To learn more about how Georgia Power is meeting the needs of customers through a flexible, balanced energy portfolio visit www.GeorgiaPower.com.
About Georgia Power
Georgia Power is the largest subsidiary of Southern Company (NYSE: SO), one of the nation's largest generators of electricity. Value, Reliability, Customer Service and Stewardship are the cornerstones of the company's promise to 2.4 million customers in all but four of Georgia's 159 counties. Committed to delivering clean, safe, reliable and affordable energy at rates below the national average, Georgia Power maintains a diverse, innovative generation mix that includes nuclear, 21st century coal and natural gas, as well as renewables such as solar, hydroelectric and wind. Consistently recognized as a leader in customer service, Georgia Power was recently ranked highest in overall business customer satisfaction among large utilities in the South by J.D. Power and Associates. For more information, visit www.GeorgiaPower.com and connect with the company on Facebook (Facebook.com/GeorgiaPower) and Twitter (Twitter.com/GeorgiaPower).
Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
Certain information contained in this release is forward-looking information based on current expectations and plans that involve risks and uncertainties. Forward-looking information includes, among other things, statements concerning current proposed environmental regulations and related compliance plans, estimated expenditures and impact on customer rates. Georgia Power Company cautions that there are certain factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from the forward-looking information that has been provided. The reader is cautioned not to put undue reliance on this forward-looking information, which is not a guarantee of future performance and is subject to a number of uncertainties and other factors, many of which are outside the control of Georgia Power Company; accordingly, there can be no assurance that such suggested results will be realized. The following factors, in addition to those discussed in Georgia Power Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2014, and subsequent securities filings, could cause actual results to differ materially from management expectations as suggested by such forward-looking information: the impact of recent and future federal and state regulatory changes, including environmental laws including regulation of water, coal combustion residuals and emissions of sulfur, nitrogen, carbon dioxide, soot, particulate matter, hazardous air pollutants, including mercury, and other substances, and also changes in tax and other laws and regulations to which Georgia Power Company is subject, as well as changes in application of existing laws and regulations; current and future litigation, regulatory investigations, proceedings, or inquiries; the ability to control costs and avoid cost overruns during the development and construction of facilities; the ability to construct facilities in accordance with the requirements of permits and licenses and to satisfy any environmental performance standards; state and federal rate regulations and the impact of pending and future rate cases and negotiations, including rate actions relating to fuel and other cost recovery mechanisms; catastrophic events such as fires, earthquakes, explosions, floods, hurricanes and other storms, droughts, pandemic health events such as influenzas, or other similar occurrences; and the effect of accounting pronouncements issued periodically by standard-setting bodies. Georgia Power Company expressly disclaims any obligation to update any forward-looking information.
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SOURCE Georgia Power
For further information: Media Relations, (404) 506-7676 or (800) 282-1696, www.georgiapower.com