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Environmental 1102 articles

Family’s water contaminated by leaking gas station tanks

A leaking underground storage tank on the premises of an old, defunct gas station in Keswick, Virginia, demonstrates how destructive a seemingly innocuous fuel tank leak can be. A report by Charlottesville News & Arts tells the story of David and Holli Traud, who bought a brand-new home just east of Charlottesville last year. However, when they moved in, they noticed that the tap water in their new home had a strange smell and bad taste. At first the Trauds assumed the water’s bad odor and taste came from being unused, so they gave it the benefit of the doubt ... Read More

California’s UST cleanup funds have dried up

California’s State Water Resources Control Board oversees the implementation of some of the country’s strictest environmental regulations, including those that govern the inspection, monitoring, removal, and cleanup of underground storage tanks. The only problem is that the cash-strapped state doesn’t have enough money in its Barry Keene Underground Storage Tank Cleanup Fund to cover all the UST work in progress. According to the North Bay Business Journal, many businesses in the San Francisco Bay area with leaking USTs in their charge are not being reimbursed for the mandatory removal and cleanup of the toxic leaking tanks. UST removal and cleanup ... Read More

Summer conditions likely to increase coal ash going airborne

Hotter and drier summer conditions increase the likelihood of coal ash going airborne, increasing the potential for the toxic material to be inhaled by those living near the site that was heavily damaged when a Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) fossil fuel plant’s impoundment pond was breached, causing more than a billion gallons of coal ash to tumble down on to a neighboring community. Cleanup efforts have been extensive and costly, with estimates of upwards of $975 million. TVA officials say it could be months before the cleanup is complete. But a team of researches from Duke University say the next ... Read More

Poor, black counties to receive coal ash from TVA cleanup

Criticism continues to fly as the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) labors on with its extensive and expensive coal ash cleanup effort following the December 22, 2008, spill from its Kingston, Tennessee, fossil fuel plant. A breach in an impoundment pond dumped more than a billion gallons of coal ash on to a neighboring community, destroying homes and damaging property in its wake. The Institute for Southern Studies now finds that the counties where the utility will be dumping much of the coal ash retrieved from the community in which it was spilled are largely populated by African Americans and have ... Read More

EPA to oversee TVA’s coal ash cleanup efforts

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) signed an enforceable agreement with the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) to oversee the removal of coal ash from its east Tennessee fossil fuel plant where a coal ash impoundment breached and dumped more than a billion gallons of toxic coal ash on to a neighboring community and into the Emory River. The TVA was also ordered to reimburse the EPA for any costs associated with its oversight of the cleanup. As part of the oversight, TVA is required to perform a comprehensive cleanup from the Emory River and surrounding areas. The utility’s work will ... Read More

Kentucky oil company repeatedly damages environment, sued by state

A Kentucky oil company faces a criminal investigation and possible $25,000-per-day fines for multiple environmental violations that have marred the local community, according to a report by Convenience Store News Online. Childers Oil Co., a petroleum vendor and operator of 45 convenience stores, is responsible for a serious oil sludge leak in November of last year and a diesel fuel leak February. According to government records, Childers Oil, which is based in the eastern Kentucky city of Whitesburg, has also been cited for at least 10 other violations since 1995. The November incident occurred when oil waste from a Childers ... Read More

Study: Cancer risk ‘disturbingly’ higher near coal ash ponds

Cancer rates among people living near coal ash ponds are “disturbingly high,” according to Environmental Integrity Project and Earthjustice, nonprofit organizations that studied Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) data from 210 coal ash ponds across the United States. The data is compiled in a report titled, “Coming Clean: What EPA Knows About the Dangers of Coal Ash.” The EPA screening study conducted in 2002 was not made public until March 4, 2009. Numerous attempts to get the information made public through the Freedom of Information Act to the EPA during the Bush Administration were denied or released with the risk estimates ... Read More

New UST law may kill California’s biodiesel business

In a 3-1 vote, California’s State Water Resources Control Board approved legislation that will require motor fuels containing more than 20 percent biodiesel to be stored in above ground tanks. It seems strange that regular petroleum diesel can be stored in underground tanks while “green” fuel must be stored above ground for fear of leakage and possible environmental contamination. But California has a law mandating that underground storage tanks be independently certified as leak proof before they can be used to store  new types of fuel, such as high-grade biodiesels. That testing and certification process can take as long as ... Read More

TVA considers new sites to bury coal ash from spill

The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) is eying a dormant landfill near its Kingston, Tennessee, plant and an abandoned strip mine in Cumberland County, Tennessee, as possible locations to bury the ash it is cleaning up after one of its impoundment ponds leaked and dumped more than a billion gallons of coal ash on to an east Tennessee community, according to WAAY-TV. The cleanup is expected to cost more than $975 million and take years to complete and involves some controversial decisions, such as where to dump the mess it cleans up. TVA officials insist that it will involve the public ... Read More

TVA ups coal ash cleanup costs to $975 million

The huge cleanup effort by the nation’s largest public utility could cost as much as $150 million more than previously estimated, according to the Associated Press. The effort to restore 300 acres of east Tennessee property damaged by the December 2008 coal ash spill from a Kingston, Tennessee, coal-firing plant is also expected to take years to complete. The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) in a financial report submitted last week, estimated the cleanup costs to be as much as $975 million, up from a previous estimate of $525 million to $825 million. The utility said those costs may continue to ... Read More