Austin
7:21 pm
Thu May 16, 2013

Asbestos Slows Down Holly Power Plant Demolition

Tearing down the Holly Street Power Plant in East Austin will take about eight months longer than originally scheduled.

Austin Energy’s deputy general manager Cheryl Mele says one major reason is asbestos. The company hired to disassemble the plant, TRC Environmental, found more of the hazardous mineral than expected.

“Much of the facility had been audited enough for us know exactly where there was contaminated materials, but there were other areas that were so internal to the plant that there was more asbestos than we thought,” Mele said. “That’s been one of the contributors to it.”

Mele says the start of the project was also delayed by about three months, mainly because of paperwork.

The power plant was closed in 2007 after decades of complaints by the people who lived near it. A federal study in 1999 refuted claims that the Holly plant contributed to higher cancer rates, but it did find that the plant was too noisy for a residential neighborhood.

You can follow updates on the Holly decommissioning at this Austin Energy blog.