The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is taking public comment until March 8 on a draft air permit that would allow the Ohio Power unit of American Electric Power (NYSE:AEP) to build a new fly ash disposal system at the coal-fired Mitchell power plant in Marshall County.
Under this permit, the company would convert the existing vacuum conveying system to a complete dry ash handling system designed to convey dry, free flowing fly ash and economizer ash from Units 1 and 2 to three new concrete fly ash silos for storage and transport. In conjunction with this project, a new dry ash landfill and associated haul road are being constructed for disposal of the fly ash, the DEP noted in an air permitting fact sheet.
The Units 1 and 2 fly ash removal systems include the ash handling vacuum conveying system from the existing precipitator boxes and economizer hoppers to the new vacuum/pressure transfer stations and the ash handling pressure conveying system to the new fly ash silos. There are three new concrete fly ash silos, each equipped with its own dedicated silo fluidizing system, silo dry ash unloading system and silo conditioned ash unloading system. The material collected and stored in the silos can be unloaded into trucks for removal to a disposal point in either a dry or conditioned state. The trucks are used to transport the ash to the new Mitchell plant dry fly ash landfill that is being constructed in conjunction with the dry fly ash project.
Mitchell was not on a list of older coal-fired plants that AEP said in a June 2011 statement may be retired over the next few years due to new U.S. Environmental Protection Agency regulations, including proposed regulations on coal-ash disposal.