Cardinal Plant

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Cardinal Plant has 58 groundwater monitoring wells, 47 of which have been polluted above federal advisory levels based on samples collected between October 04, 2010 and October 11, 2017. Groundwater at this site contains unsafe levels of sulfate, lithium, manganese, arsenic, boron, molybdenum, cobalt, lead, strontium, radium, barium, fluoride, beryllium, cadmium, silver and thallium.

Site description

Cardinal Plant and its coal combustion waste disposal sites sit on the edge of bluffs overlooking the Ohio River. The disposal areas include the Bottom Ash Complex (Bottom Ash Pond and Recirculation Pond), Fly Ash Reservoir 1 (decommissioned) and Fly Ash Reservoir 2. In May of 2012, American Electric Power applied for permission to raise the dam height of Reservoir 2 by 13 feet to accommodate waste disposal plans through 2019.

Hydrogeological reports document that the two reservoirs have significantly impacted the site geomorphology and hydrogeological conditions due to the filling of two branches of Block House Hollow and valley fills of saturated fly ash; the reservoirs likely contribute recharge (and contamination) to upper aquifers, which are themselves hydrologically connected to lower aquifers shared by nearby residential wells.

Cardinal's fly ash reservoirs (1 & 2) are among the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's list of potential damage cases, indicating that they have potentially polluted groundwater or surface water at levels which threaten human health and the environment.

Unit 1 is slated to be converted into a natural gas unit by 2030. All of the ash disposal units listed above are regulated under the CCR-rule. You can find the industry reported data here. For more information on Plant Cardinal, see EIP’s 2019 National Coal Ash Report, Coal’s Poisonous Legacy.

Monitoring Wells Wells reporting one or more exceedances for at least one pollutant.
47 / 58
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No exceedances
One or more exeedances
No data available
Other designation
Well "halo" size corresponds to mean concentration. Please note that some wells may not be visible on the map due to overlapping locations.
Pollutants monitored and above guidelines
Tip: Click on a contaminant to view wells that have recorded exceedances. Click again to remove the filter. arsenic barium beryllium boron cadmium cobalt fluoride lead lithium manganese molybdenum radium silver strontium sulfate thallium
Pollutants monitored and below guidelines
antimony chromium copper mercury nickel selenium uranium
Pollutants not monitored
ammonia, cyanide, gross alpha particle, gross beta particle, hexavalent chromium, nitrate, nitrite, tritium

Facility last updated on Thursday, July 18, 2019 10:57:56 AM EDT