Public turns out for informational session on proposed Georgia Power byproduct landfill

12 11 2008

The proposed solid waste facility has been on the minds of Georgia Power officials as the company continues to find ways to comply with Environmental Protection Agency guidelines regarding clean air.

A 143.5-acre landfill would store synthetic gypsum, a byproduct of a flue gas desulfurization process — also known as “scrubbers” — that cleans as much as 95 percent of sulfur dioxide and 80 percent of mercury from plant emissions.

Lamar Larrimore is a research engineer with Southern Company, the company that oversees Georgia Power-related projects.

Larrimore was among the Southern Company and Georgia Power representatives available for questions from the public during Monday’s public information meeting at the Putnam County Fire Station on Pea Ridge Road.

“When we burn coal, we have to remove sulfur from the coal. How we do that is we mix it with a solution of limestone. IT takes the calcium from limestone and sulfur from coal and produces calcium sulfate. This is the same material you can mine out of the ground,” Larrimore explained. “We can use it in manufacturing applications. The drywall in your house, for instance, is mostly gypsum. We’re also doing agricultural tests sites all over the Southeast to study the applications of applying gypsum to a crop compared to not applying it to a crop.”

Studies so far have been encouraging, Larrimore said.

For most lakeside residents, particularly in Putnam County, the concern is not over how a crop of peanuts or tomatoes could be affected, but whether the water they drink each day and the lake that they’ve come to call home would be affected by Georgia Power’s proposed project.

Read on here.

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