Ohio Valley Electric Corporation Will Pay $50,000 for Ammonia Spill ($10.168 per fish)
In a settlement with Ohio EPA, the Ohio Valley Electric Corporation (OVEC) has agreed to pay $50,000 for last year’s spill of ammonia into Kyger Creek from OVEC’s Gallia County facility, located at 5758 State Route 7 near Cheshire in Addison Township.
On July 25, 2009, OVEC determined that it was necessary to drain ammonia solution from its ammonia-on-demand tank to its south fly ash pond. This activity was not reported to Ohio EPA. The tank draining continued for two days until OVEC noticed several dead fish in the pond and stopped the draining process.
The company did not notify Ohio EPA about the high concentration of ammonia discharged from the pond to Kyger Creek or the subsequent fish kill. An anonymous caller notified Ohio EPA of dead fish in the creek on July 27, 2009. Ohio EPA and Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) investigated. ODNR found 4,917 dead fish, including large catfish, in the 1.5 miles between the OVEC pond’s discharge point and the Ohio River. Ohio EPA sampled the creek and confirmed that ammonia concentrations downstream of the pond were lethal to aquatic species.
As part of the settlement with OVEC, the company agreed to implement an approved plan for eliminating similar ammonia solution discharges to waters of the state. OVEC also agreed to pay $50,000 in civil penalties, $10,000 of which will go to Ohio EPA’s Clean Diesel School Bus Program Fund. The remaining $40,000 will go to the administration of surface water programs. OVEC has already paid $2,085 to ODNR for the cost of the dead fish and ODNR’s investigation.