Big Cajun II Power Plant has 15 groundwater monitoring wells, 8 of which have been polluted above federal advisory levels based on samples collected between March 10, 2010 and October 17, 2017. Groundwater at this site contains unsafe levels of sulfate, arsenic, boron, antimony, beryllium, cadmium, cobalt, lead, mercury and thallium.Site description
Louisiana Generating's Big Cajun II Power Plant is located on the Mississippi River in New Roads, Louisiana. The plant used to operate three coal-fired units with the total capacity of 1,276 MW. Unit 2 (626 MW) stopped burning coal in 2015, and was converted to a 540 MW gas plant in 2016. Unit 1 is planned for retirement in 2025. Five solid waste-permitted surface impoundments (Fly Ash Basin, Bottom Ash Basin, Rainfall Surge Pond, Primary Treatment Pond, and Secondary Treatment Pond) are utilized to manage coal ash materials and other process wastewaters. The Fly Ash and Bottom Ash Basins occupy 240 acres and are designed to store/dispose these two types of coal ash materials. Coal ash materials from silos are transported by truck to the Fly Ash Basin (or offsite to a permitted landfill for disposal). Bottom ash from Unit 1 is sluiced to the Bottom Ash Basin. Unit 3 bottom ash is hauled to the basin in trucks. Only the Fly Ash and Bottom Ash Basins are regulated under the CCR unit. The Big Cajun II Power Plant is listed among the U.S. EPA's potential damage cases, indicating that it has polluted groundwater or surface water at levels which threaten human health and the environment. You can find the industry-reported data here. For more information on the Big Cajun II Power Plant, see EIP’s 2019 National Coal Ash Report.