Jennifer Loren, Oklahoma Impact Team
OOLOGAH, Oklahoma – Public Service Company of Oklahoma unveiled the improvements planned for its fly ash landfill in Oologah Tuesday.
The announcement comes after tests revealed the ground water is contaminated there and headed straight for the Verdigris River.
The Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality is in charge of regulating PSO's fly ash site and according to a director there, the new improvements are a DEQ requirement.
Fly ash is a waste product of coal fired power plants like the one in Oologah. It contains many chemicals including arsenic, lead, barium and other heavy metals.
The recent monitoring found contamination, including selenium in the water at eight to ten times the allowable amount for drinking water.
PSO said it will begin construction on a slurry wall, which they hope will stop the contaminated water from getting to the river. They'll also install a liner underneath the landfill to try and prevent seepage.
"We operate in compliance with all the local and federal and state regulations, all of which are based on protecting the health and safety of the public. And we're committed to making sure we do everything those require," said Mark Barton, AEP-PSO NE Station Manager.
There is a hearing Wednesday on another Oklahoma fly ash site, nearby residents there are trying to prove its operating illegally.