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Georgia Power prepares to permanently close 29 ash ponds

Georgia PowerCo. is preparing to close all 29 ash ponds at 11 of its coal-firedfacilities in Georgia, according to a March 29 statement.

The permanent closure will cost over a billion dollars in thenext decade and is being undertaken in responseto the U.S. EPA's coal ash ruleand effluent guidelines,the Southern Co.subsidiary said.

Twelve ash ponds will be closed in less than two years whileanother 16 are expected for closure in less than 10 years; the remaining onepond is anticipated to close in about 10 to 14 years.

The company has worked with the Georgia EnvironmentalProtection Division on the plan and will continue to do so throughout theclosure process.