Coal Ash Milestone: Last Truckload of Stored Pond Ash Hauled from Grainger

Santee Cooper hauled the last load of coal ash that was stored in ash ponds at the former Grainger Generating Station. Santee Cooper will continue to remove any remaining ash from dikes that surrounded the ponds and expects that to conclude within a few months.

“This is a major milestone in ash removal at Grainger and in South Carolina, and it is something we’ve been working diligently toward achieving,” said Pamela Williams, senior vice president and CFO. “While we still have more work to do, we’re pleased to accomplish this step toward our goal of removing all ash from the area.”

Santee Cooper started excavating the ash ponds in 2014 and was about 87 percent complete when Hurricane Florence came through the area in October 2018. Ash Pond 2 still contained about 200,000 tons, and the utility had to pause work on the ash excavation to secure the pond from flood risks.

Since Hurricane Florence, Santee Cooper has expedited ash removal at Grainger. As part of the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control-approved pond closure plan, Santee Cooper must also remove one additional foot of soil in the ponds and have it tested in order for the ponds to be deemed clean.

The majority of the ash is being beneficially reused by the cement industry.

Once all the ash and soil are removed, Santee Cooper will return the pond area to its natural wetlands state. Grainger went online in 1966 and was decommissioned in 2012.

Santee Cooper is South Carolina’s largest power provider, largest Green Power generator and the ultimate source of electricity for 2 million people across the state. Through its low-cost, reliable and environmentally responsible electricity and water services, and through innovative partnerships and initiatives that attract and retain industry and jobs, Santee Cooper powers South Carolina. To learn more, visit and follow #PoweringSC on social media.