FirstEnergy Coal Combustion Residuals Management Study
For decades, FirstEnergy’s 2,500-megawatt Bruce Mansfield Plant has managed its coal combustion residuals (CCR) at the Little Blue Run disposal impoundment. In December 2012, FirstEnergy and the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection finalized a consent decree to cease placing CCRs in the impoundment by December 31, 2016. At that time, CCRs produced at the plant will fully transition from wet to dry handling, with the material being placed in a new disposal site. As FirstEnergy was considering options for short- and long-term management of the plant’s dry CCRs, the company engaged Tetra Tech to evaluate additional disposal and beneficial use options.
Tetra Tech performed a two-part study. Our team first identified, screened, and evaluated large-volume disposal/beneficial use at either active or abandoned surface coal mine sites near the plant. They then identified and evaluated disposal at non-captive municipal solid waste (MSW) landfills near the plant and disposal at an existing, inactive CCR landfill at FirstEnergy’s deactivated Hatfield’s Ferry Power Station.
For the disposal/beneficial use study, Tetra Tech performed a three-level screening evaluation that included compiling and collating data from online state and federal databases; reviewing digital topographic mapping and aerial imaging; and performing field reconnaissance of likely hauling routes. Of more than 230 active and abandoned mine sites initially identified, the team refined the list to 13 sites. We prepared estimates of available gross airspace and on-road trucking needs and associated hauling costs for the final candidate sites.
For the landfill disposal study, Tetra Tech identified six existing MSW landfills within the project study area that were permitted to receive CCRs and had sufficient receiving capacity to manage the material. For these sites, we prepared estimates of on-road trucking needs and associated hauling costs and tipping fees. For the inactive FirstEnergy CCR landfill, Tetra Tech evaluated the facility’s remaining disposal capacity, permitted operational requirements, and existing transloading and transportation infrastructure (focusing on barging of the CCRs); and prepared estimated transportation and landfill operating costs.
Based on our findings, FirstEnergy requested that Tetra Tech perform a detailed evaluation of the engineering, design, permitting, and construction needs and associated capital and operational costs to reopen the Hatfield’s Ferry CCR landfill. Tetra Tech developed construction phasing plans, timelines, quantities, and cost estimates to reopen, operate, build-out, and close the landfill. FirstEnergy is using this information to make a final decision regarding future management of Mansfield CCRs.