Community Corner Archive
June 20, 2011
DOE Scoping Meeting Turnout
On June 9th, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) hosted its Morgan County scoping meeting associated with its environmental review of sites for FutureGen 2.0.
At an informal open house held between 5:00-7:00 p.m., DOE, Ameren, the FutureGen Alliance, and the Illinois State Geological Survey presented posters, videos, and hands-on displays to describe different aspects of the project and answered questions from the citizens who attended. The formal meeting began at 7:00 p.m. with presentations from the various entities representing the project. Alliance CEO Ken Humphreys stressed that the purpose of this first round of public meetings was to hear stakeholders’ issues and concerns because “we can’t address concerns unless they are raised.” Several citizens expressed their views regarding the project and raised issues that they felt need to be considered during the environmental review process.
DOE is compiling all of the comments and others that may be submitted during the public comment period which ends on June 22, 2011, and will place a report on their website in the next few weeks. DOE plans to host its next public meetings in the spring of 2012 following the release of its draft Environmental Impact Statement.
Environmental Educational Opportunities
The FutureGen Alliance is developing its Monitoring, Verification, and Accounting (MVA) plan, which will to include the activities and systems that will be used to study and monitor the injected CO2 for the life of the project. The plan will also include opportunities to engage local schools and colleges to participate in monitoring activities. Near-term monitoring activities planned by the Alliance will determine the existing environmental conditions. These include monitoring for:
- Groundwater conditions
- Ecological conditions – surveying wetlands, surface water, and natural vegetation
- Atmospheric conditions
- Soil gas and naturally produced CO2
- Remote sensing – spectral analysis of forest canopy and crop density
- Crop productivity
The Alliance plans to work through the FutureGen Citizens’ Board, on which several senior educators serve, to identify specific mechanisms to involve faculty and students in this work. Funding will be allocated for this effort. Depending on interest, faculty and students could be involved in the project on a long-term basis in helping to collect and analyze the environmental data.
June 6, 2011
Preliminary Groundwater and Geology Field Work Planned
In mid-July, the Illinois State Geological Survey (ISGS) will drill a shallow groundwater well at the Morgan County Site off of Beilschmidt Road. The purpose of this well is to use it as a source of monitoring during the life of the project. The team wants to collect baseline information on the site before drilling the deep characterization well that will be put in place after the groundwater well. This shallow well will be drilled to about 150-200 feet. As the drilling occurs, continuous rock samples will be collected to characterize the shallow geology in detail. The chemistry and physical properties of the groundwater will be tested and used to develop an environmental baseline picture of the site.
In addition to drilling a new groundwater well for the project, the team is interested in knowing the quality of the groundwater at near-by wells. This information will also serve as a baseline. The ISGS will collect samples from private and domestic wells within a few miles of the site. A field inventory will be made of the source of water for each residence by either visual inspection of the property for the presence of a water well or interviewing the residents. The team will identify a subset of around ten wells and request permission from the landowners to sample them for water quality. This field work should occur between July 15 and August 30, 2011. A report documenting the results from these samples will be shared with the residents.