Philip Sporn Power Plant Fly Ash Pond

From Global Energy Monitor

Philip Sporn Power Plant Fly Ash Pond is a coal ash disposal site associated with Philip Sporn Power Plant, owned and operated by American Electric Power subsidiary Appalachian Power Company near New Haven, West Virginia.

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Site data

Information below derived from EPA's Coal Ash Survey database;[1] GPS coordinates courtesy of Earthjustice researchers.

  • Owner: Appalachian Power Company
  • Parent company: American Electric Power
  • Associated coal plant: Philip Sporn Power Plant
  • Location: New Haven, WV
  • GPS coordinates: 38.9700, -81.9200
  • Hazard potential: High
  • Year commissioned: 1973
  • Year(s) expanded: 2002
  • Material(s) stored: Fly ash
  • Professional Engineer (PE) designed?: Yes
  • PE constructed?: Yes
  • PE monitored?: Yes
  • Significant deficiencies identified: Evaluate scour on eastern dike (from 2005 inspection), slippage at western dike
  • Corrective measures: Yes
  • Surface area (acres): 60
  • Storage capacity (acre feet): 1965
  • Unit Height (feet): 65
  • Historical releases: None
  • Additional notes: Remediate erosion, slippage on western dike

Associated coal waste site

"High Hazard" Surface Impoundment

The Philip Sporn Power Plant Fly Ash Pond is on the EPA's official June 2009 list of Coal Combustion Residue (CCR) Surface Impoundments with High Hazard Potential Ratings. The rating applies to sites at which a dam failure would most likely cause loss of human life, but does not assess of the likelihood of such an event.[2]

Coal waste in the United States

A January 2009 study by The New York Times following the enormous TVA coal ash spill found that there are more than 1,300 surface impoundments across the U.S. containing coal waste, with some sites as large as 1,500 acres.[3] Also in January 2009, an Associated Press study found that 156 coal-fired power plants store ash in surface ponds similar to the one that ruptured at Kingston Fossil Plant. The states with the most storage in coal ash in ponds are Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky, Georgia and Alabama. The AP's analysis found that in 2005, 721 power plants generating at least 100 MW of electricity produced 95.8 million tons of coal ash, about 20 percent of which - or almost 20 million tons - ended up in surface ponds. The rest of the ash winds up in landfills or is sold for other uses.[4] In June 2009, EPA released its list of 44 "high hazard potential" coal waste sites, which included 12 sites in North Carolina, 9 in Arizona, 6 in Kentucky, 6 in Ohio, and 4 in West Virginia.[5] The full list is available here.

Citizen groups



  1. Coal Ash Survey Results, Environmental Protection Agency, accessed December 2009.
  2. Coal waste
  3. Shaila Dewan, "Hundreds of Coal Ash Dumps Lack Regulation," New York Times, January 7, 2009.
  4. Dina Cappiello, "Toxic Coal Ash Piling up in Ponds in 32 States," Associated Press, January 9, 2009.
  5. Shaila Dewan, "E.P.A. Lists ‘High Hazard’ Coal Ash Dumps," New York Times, June 30, 2009.

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External links