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, eight 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 seven coal-fired units. Currently, Yates is in the process of demolition of coal-fired units 1-5 and converting units 6-7 to natural gas. Plant Yates had seven ash ponds. The first ash pond (AP-1) has not received any waste since the construction of the second ash pond (AP-2) in 1966 when it became a settling basin for coal pile runoff. 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 the ash from these ponds was placed in a permanent dry ash landfill, which lacks information in Georgia Power's CCR reports. Three of seven ash ponds will be closed by closing the ash in place.