Environmental 1102 articles

Indiana man sues after leaking fuel tank forces him out of house

A leaking underground storage tank (or LUST) is the basis of a lawsuit in which a Muncie, Indiana, man accuses his neighbors of failing to warn him about an old tank on their property that was slowly but steadily contaminating the ground. Jeffrey Wray, a computer technician for a local hospital, alleges that his neighbors, the owners of a former gas station, failed to warn him that the ground and water beneath his house had been contaminated by fuel from a LUST. According to the lawsuit, the problem continued unabated for years, finally forcing Wray out of his home. “The ... Read More

Coal ash byproducts used in building supplies making people sick

Florida homeowners have filed a class action suit against the manufacturers of a Chinese drywall company for using toxic fly ash in materials used to construct their homes. The fly ash was reportedly purchased from a Chinese power plant and used to make the drywall. The practice of utilities selling coal ash byproducts is not unusual. The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) recently released a report stating that it sells about a third of the 7 million tons of fly ash, bottom ash, gypsum and boiler slag generated in its plants each year. Those byproducts have been mixed into concrete for ... Read More

Massachusetts town converts fuel-contaminated land into park

Cleanup efforts are underway at the site of a former gas station in Marshfield, Massachusetts. A Gulf gas station once occupied the site but was demolished in the late 1990s. Tests conducted on the property revealed the soil and water to be contaminated by fuel. The city of Marshfield is using $50,000 in funds from Massachusetts’ Leaking Underground Storage Tank Release Prevention Program to pay Coler & Colantonio, an environmental engineering firm that is assessing the extent of damage to the land and water table on the site. The city and civic groups plan to convert the land into a ... Read More

Photographers capture images of devastating coal ash spill

Photographer Shawn Poynter and other photographers compiled for the Daily Yonder a photo slideshow of images captured following December’s massive coal ash spill that destroyed homes and damaged more than 300 acres in east Tennessee. The images show just how devastating our nation’s largest coal-ash spill was. The spill occurred when a coal ash impoundment pond at the Tennessee Valley Authority’s (TVA) Kingston, Tennessee plant failed and dumped more than a billion gallons of toxic material on to a rural, east Tennessee neighborhood. Not only did the spill cause immediate damage, its long-term effects may cause even more problems. Coal ... Read More

Officials in other states review safety of coal ash plants

Coal ash ponds similar to the one at the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) plant in Kingston, Tennessee that failed and poured more than a billion gallons of toxic material on to east Tennessee property, are located all across the country, which has some people asking, “Can a coal ash spill happen here?” according to the Gillette News Record. An Associated Press report found that there are 162 power plants in the county that have coal ash ponds. Those ponds store anywhere from 500 tons to 653,300 tons of coal ash. While coal ash has stayed somewhat below the environmental issues ... Read More

‘Tom Sawyer’ city cited for underground storage tank violations

The city of Hannibal, Missouri, the boyhood home of author Mark Twain and the setting of his fictional classics The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, has been cited by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources for violations of underground storage tank (UST) regulations. The faulty UST is located at the city’s marina, where it is used to store fuel. Hannibal’s marina and docks, situated on the western edge of the Mississippi River, are an essential part of the historic community, which every year draws thousands of tourists from around the world. Faulty USTs are an enormous ... Read More

TVA coal ash victims testify about property, personal damages

Residents of Roane County, Tennessee who experienced property damage or suffered health complications following the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) coal ash spill last December continue to give testimony to members of the Tennessee State House Environment Committee, according to MSNBC. Lawmakers are trying to make sure the TVA is doing everything possible to right the situation. We told you earlier about Penny Dodson and her 18-month-old grandson Evan. For 10 days after the spill, they stayed in their home instead of fleeing. She was told by TVA authorities that they would be safe. But when Evan started having trouble breathing, ... Read More

Toddler near coal ash spill site tests positive for heavy metal

Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) repeatedly told Penny Dodson that she and her 18-month-old grandson Evan would be safe. They live near the utility’s Kingston, Tennessee, plant where in December a coal ash pond failed and poured more than a billion gallons of toxic material on to 300 acres of rural property and into Emory River. But when Evan started having trouble breathing, Penny took him to the doctor, who tested him for heavy metals. “When I got the results I was horrified,” Penny said to News Channel 5. “It showed that Evan has increased levels of arsenic and lead and ... Read More

Do you live near a leaking underground storage tank?

Unless you live in a remote, rural region of the United States, chances are you live within a few feet of an underground storage tank (UST). These tanks, which by definition have at least 10% of their volume underground, typically store fuel and other hazardous – and highly corrosive – liquids. Older tanks were made without the benefits of corrosion-resistant polymers or double containment standards, so they can easily leak. In fact, they usually do. The Environmental Protection Agency reports that there are 623,319 USTs in the United States and its territories. Of those USTs, there have been 479,817 “confirmed ... Read More

TVA calls coal ash spill disaster a ‘catastrophe’

Nearly two months after a coal ash pond in Kingston, Tennessee, failed and poured 1.1 billion gallons of toxic material onto 300 acres of a rural east Tennessee community, the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) finally admits it wishes it could have handled its responses differently, the Associated Press reported. “It was a catastrophe,” said Tom Kilgore, TVA president, referencing an internal memo that was obtained by the Associated Press that downplayed the incident by changing the description from “catastrophic” to “sudden, accidental.” The memo was also edited to remove references of a public health risk, instead choosing to call the ... Read More