Alabama Power has entered into an agreement with an environmental company to have coal ash removed and recycled from the Barry Steam Plant in Mobile.
Eco Material Technologies will harvest the ash to make sustainable cement replacement products.
"This collaboration with Alabama Power is a paragon for both the environment and concrete builders, and we should expect more companies across the country to follow Southern Company's lead in the beneficial reuse of their fly ash for products like Green Cement," said Grant Quasha, CEO of Eco Material Technologies.
Eco Material Technologies has similar projects at two power plants in Georgia.
More than 700,000 tons of coal ash is being stored at the Barry Steam Plant.
"Alabama Power has a long history of recycling coal ash from its plants for beneficial use in products like concrete and other construction materials," said Brandon Dillard, Alabama Power senior vice president and senior production officer, West Production Group. "We're very pleased that this collaboration with Eco Material will expand our ability to harvest coal ash at the plant and contribute to development of materials that impact the growth of our state."
A new harvesting plant will be built at the Barry Steam Plant and is expected to be in service by January 2026.
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.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is considering ADEM's coal ash permit process. ADEM was asked to prove their permitting process was as good as the federal process. If they could not do that, state facilities would be required to comply with federal standards determined by the Biden administration. The EPA could also determine "immediate threats to human health or the environment" and have the authority to use enforcement provided under federal law.
A federal lawsuit filed by the Mobile Baykeeper against Alabama Power was dismissed without prejudice after the judge realized the power company was working on a remedy to remove the coal ash safely.
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