Saturday, June 27, 2015

LIttle Blue Run Lake

 This is a dam. It is 400 feet tall and 2,200 feet wide.  It is an earthen dam made of dirt and rock. You can find it just past the East End of East Liverpool.  It is impressive to behold.  What is behind it may be deadly.
Behind it was Little Blue Run Lake.  It was a man made lake built in 1975.  When I was little I remember my parents telling me it was once a town called Little Blue and the rubble was all that remained of it.  Later, in  2003, my dad took us on a ride to show us this beautiful blue lake.  What was unusual was that all the trees in it and around it were dead.
It was the largest coal ash impound in the United States.   What is a Coal Ash Impound?  Coal ash is the residual combustion in power plants that are captured by pollution control technology, such as scrubbers.  It consists of fly ash, bottom ash, boiler slag, flue gas desulfurization gypsum, and other byproducts and contains low concentrations of arsenic, selenium, lead, and mercury. After collection at a power plant, coal ash is often impounded in a surface storage pond or in a landfill.   What are scrubbers?  Scrubbers are an apparatus that cleans the gases passing through the smokestack of a coal-burning power plant. Due to Clean Air Act regulations, most scrubbers in U.S. coal plants are used to remove sulfur emissions from coal and lessen the formation of acid rain.  There was (and perhaps still is) 20 billion gallons of coal ash and smokestack scrubber waste in the lake.

Little Blue Run Dam.jpg
This is an  image from NASA of the area and the lake.  It was
huge.  It is also gone now.  Mostly.
I am going to go out there and get some pics of the area.  From what I understand, the lake is gone now.  There was a threat that the dam might break, which would have affected over 50,000 people in the area.  Maybe that is why it is gone.  Two lawsuits were filed against First Energy, the owner/maker of the lake, and they have promised to monitor the sight and clean it up.  Time will tell.


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