Plant Yates has 26 groundwater monitoring wells, 9 of which have been polluted above federal advisory levels based on samples collected between June 01, 2016 and October 11, 2017. Groundwater at this site contains unsafe levels of cobalt, boron, sulfate, beryllium, radium and selenium.Site description
Plant Yates borders the east bank of the Chattahoochee River, 8 miles northwest of the city of Newnan. The 2,400 acre plant opened in 1950 and is gradually transitioning from the use of coal-fired units to natural gas combustion turbines. Originally there were 7 coal-fired units, but now the plant is in the process of the demolition of coal-fired units 1-5 and units 6-7 have been converted to natural gas. Plant Yates had seven ash ponds. The first ash pond (AP-1) has not received any waste since 1966 because of the construction of the second ash pond (AP-2). But, AP-1 has been used as a settling basin for coal pile runoff for some years, after 1966. AP-2 contains over 1.5 million cubic yards of coal ash and wastewater, only 100 feet away from the Chattahoochee River.
According to Georgia Power, two of the ash pond in Plant Yates no longer contain coal ash. Some of this ash was placed in a permanent dry ash landfill, that there is not information about. Three out of the seven ash pond are going to be closed by keeping the ash in place.
For more information on Plant Yates, see EIP's report, America's Top Power Plant Toxic Air Polluters.