In 2016, Daviess Fiscal Court signed a five-year agreement with Owensboro Municipal Utilities to take its coal combustion residuals — also known as coal ash — at the county’s landfill on Kentucky 815.

As of Dec. 29, David Smith, the county’s director of legislative services, said, the landfill had received 268,801 tons of ash and the county had received $4.23 million for putting it in the landfill.

Judge-Executive Al Mattingly said OMU had expected to be finished with cleaning up the Elmer Smith Power Plant property, 4301 E. Fourth St., by now.

But the work is taking longer than expected, he said.

Mattingly said OMU believes it will finish cleaning the property within six months, but agreed to a one-year extension just to be sure.

“This is good for us, good for them and good for their ratepayers,” he said.

At the end of May, the coal-fired Elmer Smith plant used up the last of its coal supply.

And OMU began buying power from Big Rivers Electric Corp. in Henderson.

The utility then speeded up cleaning the property.

It plans to dismantle the coal conveyor this year and then the two chimneys, which stand 650-feet tall and 420-feet tall.

In 2016, the utility sought bids from vendors to recycle the coal ash for beneficial uses, such as the making of wallboard and concrete.

Those were awarded to United States Gypsum Co., Headwaters, Inc., Peabody COALSALES, LLC. and US Minerals.

OMU had been using Hancock County’s single-lined landfill for disposing of its by-product materials.

But new Environmental Protection Agency rules required double-lined landfills.

So, OMU sought proposals for the disposal of boiler slag, bottom ash, fly ash and gypsum.

At the time, the Smith plant was burning about 1.3 million tons of coal a year.

The contract in 2016 said OMU would pay the landfill $15.75 a ton in tipping fees.

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