Conesville Power Plant has 53 groundwater monitoring wells, 46 of which have been polluted above federal advisory levels based on samples collected between April 26, 2010 and October 23, 2019. Groundwater at this site contains unsafe levels of sulfate, lithium, arsenic, manganese, boron, molybdenum, cobalt, fluoride, lead, radium, beryllium, barium, cadmium, selenium, thallium and antimony.Site description
American Electric Power's Conesville Power Plant is in Conesville, Ohio on the Muskingum River in Coshocton County. The facility was first operational in 1959 and, at its peak, had six coal-fired units with a net capacity of 2,175-MW. The last unit was retired in 2020. Coal ash from the plant is stored in an ash pond complex that was originally constructed in the 1950s. Plant Conesville’s Ash Landfill and Ash Pond are both regulated under the CCR-rule.
According to a 2009 assessment, the plant's ash pond complex was rated as having a significant hazard potential, indicating that economic and environmental damage would occur if the ponds failed. Flue gas desulfurization (FGD) waste from the site used to be disposed of in an on-site landfill located northwest of the ash pond complex. The FGD landfill was capped and closed in 1988, and it is on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's list of proven damage cases due to groundwater contamination. Currently, stored coal ash and air pollution scrubber sludge from the plant that is not sold for "beneficial reuse" is excavated from the on-site ash ponds and disposed of off-site in the Conesville Residual Solid Waste Landfill. This 52-acre landfill was initially permitted in 1985 and is located about two and a half miles northeast of the plant. Groundwater monitoring data for the landfill is publicly available from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency.