Alabama Power has agreed to have conversations with representatives from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) concerning what to do about coal ash at the James Barry Plant in Bucks, Alabama.

Mobile Baykeeper and the Southern Environmental Law Center filed a lawsuit against the power company claiming the Mobile River is being polluted.

The plant has one unlined pond and one lined pond. Boron and cobalt were detected at the plant, along with arsenic, at levels seven times higher than federal health-based guidelines.

“Alabama Power Company sent a letter to the EPA accepting the agency’s invitation to engage in continued discussions about our coal combustion residuals (CCR) program at Plant Barry,” Alabama Power said in a statement to 1819 News. “It is expected these discussions will commence in January.”

The EPA has been considering the Alabama Department of Environmental Management’s permit process for CCR programs. The EPA stated in a proposed draft that Alabama’s permit program is “significantly less protective of people and waterways than the federal regulations require.”

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