Santee Cooper to enclose coal ash pond

CONWAY, S.C. (AP) - The state-owned utility Santee Cooper plans to enclose coal ash ponds at a closed power plant in Horry County with a cement vault to prevent contamination.

Santee Cooper filed the plans with state regulators Monday.

The plan is to keep arsenic and other contamination from seeping into groundwater near the old Grainger electric plant in Conway and the Waccamaw River.

The plan needs approval from the Department of Health and Environmental Control. DHEC spokeswoman Lindsey Evans says she doesn't know how long that review will take.

She says the public will be able to comment before a decision is made.

Santee Cooper says it would take about three years to implement the plan. It's expected to cost about $40 million.

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