Powerton Generating Station has 19 groundwater monitoring wells, 17 of which have been polluted above federal advisory levels based on samples collected between December 06, 2010 and June 22, 2017. Groundwater at this site contains unsafe levels of manganese, arsenic, sulfate, nitrate, boron, thallium, cobalt, molybdenum, selenium, antimony, lead and radium.Site description
Midwest Generation's Powerton Generating Station is located in Pekin, Illinois along the Illinois River. Together, the station's two active coal-fired units burn around 4-5 million tons of coal per year and can generate up to 1,538 MW of electricity. Four other coal-fired units at the site were retired in 1974 and have been demolished. The site currently operates five ash ponds and another on-site, abandoned ash pond is still filled with ash. As of 2009, there were six potable water wells within 2,500 feet upgradient of the ash ponds, two of which are water supply wells for the power plant. Routine groundwater monitoring began on-site in 2011.
In October 2012, Midwest Generation entered into a Compliance Commitment Agreement with the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency to address violations of groundwater standards at Powerton. Among other requirements imposed by this agreement, the facility's ash ponds are not to be used as permanent disposal sites, two of the site's ash basins were to be lined or re-lined, and Midwest Generation had to apply for and establish a Groundwater Management Zone and Environmental Land Use Control designations at the site.
The Powerton Station is among the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's list of potential damage cases, indicating that it has potentially polluted groundwater or surface water at levels which threaten human health and the environment. For more information about groundwater monitoring at coal waste disposal sites in Illinois, see the 2011 EIP and Prairie Rivers Network's report Illinois at Risk.
For more information about plant coal ash impoundments, visit the Prairie Rivers Network's Coal Ash Map.