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Indiana Twp. site seeks OK to dispose of solid materials

| Wednesday, Sept. 4, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
Jan Pakler | for The Herald
Trucks exit the wash station at the ask disposal site off of Rich Run Road.

The owner of an ash disposal site on Lefever Road in Indiana Township is petitioning the state to allow excavated materials into the dump site.

NRG Power Midwest LP, which sits off a residential portion of Rich Hill Road, is requesting the state Department of Environmental Protection modify its permit to approve solid materials that could include arsenic, cobalt and sand.

Township Manager Dan Anderson said the excavated materials, according to the application, consist mainly of soil, rock fragments, concrete, slag, brick and asphalt.

There is a 20,000 cubic-yard stockpile of these items that are generated at the power plant and other sites. The company is requesting the items be acceptable for disposal at the landfill.

Tests of the materials stockpiled in 2012 and 2013 found that amounts of arsenic and cobalt exceed the DEP's Clean Fill limits, according to NRG's application.

It said the preferred alternative for disposal of the material is at the ash site.

Supervisors have yet to review the application. Anderson and Code Enforcement Officer Jeff Curti have 60 days to review the request before submitting comments.

Originally opened by Duquesne Light, the power plant has operated on site since 1981. Residents have never raised concerns about ash dump operations, Anderson said.

Ash includes fly ash, which is scrubbed out of flues after combustion. It also includes bottom ash, which is residue from inside the furnace.

“The only complaints we get is about the number of trucks that travel along Rich Hill Road leaving the plant,” he said.

According to Allegheny County assessments, Orion Power purchased the 181-acre lot for $53.3 million in 2000. It has since changed hands to GenOn, and now to NRG Power.

Sharon Drake is a freelance writer for Trib Total Media.

Tawnya Panizzi is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-782-2121, ext. 2 or tpanizzi@tribweb.com.

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