After more than 3 months of information sessions and presentations, Georgia Power has gotten the green light to move forward with their plans to remove coal ash ponds at Plant Branch in Milledgeville.

Along with the closing of Georgia Power's Plant Branch, it's not just the physical structure the company has to tear down.

They have 5 ash ponds on the campus that the state Environmental Protection Division has just approved to be drained and excavated.

That work will probably start sometime in 2018.

Causing concerns for people like Ryan Cleveland, who lives on the lake.

"One of the major things that is probably going to affect me and the residents is the quality of the water going into it," Cleveland said. "Also how are they gonna keep tabs and checking on it?"

Georgia Power's General Manager for Environmental Affairs, Aaron Mitchell, says they'll be keeping a close eye on the work.

"The monitoring is continuous so that if we set a parameter and the system operates outside of the operational parameter, it will cease operating instantaneously," Mitchell said. "That's a 24-7 continuous monitoring system."

Mitchell says EPD has asked Georgia Power to submit water-quality tests more frequently at Plant Branch than at other locations they're doing this. He says that most likely because of the feedback they received during public meetings this year.

"EPD has been evaluating and listening to comments and as well we have been willing to provide more data to the public as there has been interest," Mitchell said.

Mitchell says Georgia Power wants to keep Lake Sinclair safe throughout the work. And Cleveland says he hopes they keep their word.

"They've been very open and I appreciate that," Cleveland said. "Hopefully they continue that going forward."

For a look at the dewatering plan approved by EPD, you can find that here.