The EPA is ordering Alliant to shut down a coal ash storage site at their Ottumwa location.
The Environmental Protection Agency has ordered Alliant to close the coal ash storage pond located at their Ottumwa Generating Station due to groundwater contamination. Coal ash, a waste product from the burning of coal to generate electricity, can often contain numerous toxic chemicals such as mercury, cadmium, arsenic and other heavy metals.
The Ottumwa Generating Station’s ash pond is operated Alliant’s subsidiary, Interstate Power and Light Company, and ownership is shared with MidAmerican Energy Company. New environmental regulations began in 2021 that required electric utilities to stop placing waste into unlined containment areas. The EPA cited the pond’s proximity to the community and possibility for water contamination in their order.
Interstate Power and Light Company requested an extension but was denied, the EPA claiming that the work needed to bring the site into compliance are not readily identified and not able to be done quick enough.