When Xcel Energy decided to burn natural gas instead of coal at its Black Dog generating plant, the utility company turned to Barr for assistance with environmental investigations and engineering design to support closure of coal-related facilities. We performed a risk evaluation demonstrating that onsite materials did not pose a significant risk to human health or the environment. Leaving these materials in place saved Xcel tens of millions of dollars while meeting state environmental requirements and leaving the site available for future development.
Barr also prepared and helped to implement coal-yard closure and reclamation plans. Work entailed a soil and groundwater investigation, a surface-water assessment, a remedial action plan to identify site closure activities, and design of site remediation construction. Decommissioning activities have included removing the coal stockpile and closing onsite ponds and coal-related facilities. Remediation construction began in 2016 and is now substantially complete. The site has been reclaimed and the property is now available for redevelopment by Xcel. Final reports documenting environmental response actions are in preparation and it is anticipated that the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency will provided a Letter of No Further Action to Xcel, meaning that environmental concerns have been addressed.