A Fairbanks company that hauls about two truckloads of ash a day from the University of Alaska Fairbanks power plant is proposing a new landfill exclusively for coal ash southwest of the Richardson Highway frontage road near Rozak Road.
Alaska Industrial, which has been disposing of the UAF ash for seven years, is seeking a permit from the Department of Environmental Conservation. It is the last permit the company needs for the project, said Jeff Day, owner of the company.
He said that the landfill will have a liner on the bottom, along with monitoring wells. The water will be regularly tested for pollution, he said.
If approved by DEC, Day said the landfill could be in operation this year. It would cover 28.3 acres of a 40-acre site. There are trees on the property in the buffer zone between the proposed landfill and the property lines.
The landfill is designed for 30 years of storage for UAF, but it could also be used for other local power plants.
Alaska has not had regulations on the disposal of coal ash, which has been used as fill material in most cases. Day said that proposed rules by the Environmental Protection Agency will either require that coal ash be disposed of in a lined landfill, such as this one, or that it be treated as hazardous waste.
He said that if it is deemed hazardous waste, Alaska's coal plants would be in trouble as there are no places in Alaska to dispose of hazardous waste. Day said he hopes the rules call for disposal in a lined landfill.'
The ash would be placed in the landfill and covered with dirt. Different cells are planned and eventually there would be a mound about 20 feet high on the property.