Last week, WCPO television in Cincinnati aired a story regarding the work being completed by Commerical Liability Partners, the company that now owns the retired Killen Generating plant in southern Adams County. In the I Team investigation, WCPO reported that the company had started draining its ash ponds in 2020 as part of a plan to close and permanently cap the contaminated waste.
It was discovered as part of public documents released by the Ohio EPA that the company violated the law last year with four violations, including exceeding its limits on total suspended solids. According to the report, “the facility realized that the pump was sitting too low in the pond and was pulling sediment from the bottom.” The sediment was then being pumped in the Ohio River.
According to WCPO, Killen’s wells showed higher concentrations of contaminants that drinking-water standards allow for boron, lithium, and molybdenum. Killen’s sister plant, the JM Stuart station, had well readings with unsafe levels of arsenic, boron, chloride, cobalt, lithium and molybdenum.
After learning of the WCPO investigation, State Representative Brian Baldridge said that he has serious concerns regarding the issue. “I have serious concerns around how Commercial Liability Partners is handling the decommissioning of the Killen Power Plant,” said Baldridge. My office will request a formal inquiry from Ohio EPA and they will need to work closely with the Adams County Regional Water District to be an advocate for the health and welfare of our county. We are a community of great local leaders and I look forward to leveraging those resources to protect the citizens of this area.”
Baldridge continued, “For decades, Adams County was integral to the energy generation that powered our region. Now our citizens deserve to know, with surety, that what is left in the wake of these retired plants will not be a danger to them and their families. Commercial Liability Partners owes it to us to be a good steward of our environment and our waterways. I will fight to ensure that what all our county has contributed to power generation will be returned through the responsible and thoughtful closing of these plants.”
Rick Adamson, General Manager of Adams Regional Water told the I Team that neither the Ohio EPA or Commercial Liability Partners notified them of potential toxins being release in the Ohio River. A former section chief at the Ohio EPA said that it appears the company could have been fined for a Clean Water Act violation.