Brunner Island Power Plant has 15 groundwater monitoring wells, 11 of which have been polluted above federal advisory levels based on samples collected between April 26, 2016 and September 20, 2017. Groundwater at this site contains unsafe levels of molybdenum, lithium, arsenic, cobalt, sulfate and cadmium.Site description
Brunner Island is a 1,422 MW power plant owned and operated by Talen Energy in East Manchester Township, York County, Pennsylvania. The Plant burns coal for fuel, but as of 2017, it was adding natural gas-firing capabilities to all three of its units. Brunner Island’s discharges wastewater into the Susquehanna River, which provides drinking water for more than 6 million people and eventually flows into the Chesapeake Bay. The plant's coal-burning operations generate over 671,800 tons of CCR annually, which has historically been disposed of in onsite basins and landfills, a system which today includes numerous closed CCR basins, one unlined, active CCR basin (Ash Basin 6), and one active CCR landfill (Disposal Area 8) built on top of a former CCR basin. The NPDES (water pollution discharge) permit for this plant expired in 2006, and the Environmental Integrity Project has submitted three rounds of comments urging the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection to update the permit and pollution controls therein.
As of 2018, the Sierra Club has reached a settlement in a lawsuit against Plant Brunner Island to completely phase out coal by 2028. In the meantime, Plant Brunner Island will not burn coal during Lancaster County’s peak smog season from May through September starting in 2023. The Ash Basin 6 and Disposal Area 8 at Plant Brunner Island are regulated under the CCR-rule. You can find the industry-reported data here. For more information on Plant Brunner Island, see EIP’s 2019 National Coal Ash Report.