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Drinking water may be contaminated by coal ash spill

AlterNet.org is reporting that during testing of the water in the Emory River, the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) may have intentionally collected the samples from clean areas, backing up the utility’s claim that that residents’ drinking water is safe. The Emory is a major supplier of drinking water in the area and a popular spot for water sports such as swimming, boating and fishing. However, third-party tests have found high levels of toxins in the river as well as in private wells, according to the report. More than a billion gallons of coal ash sludge spilled over 300 acres of ... Read More

Scientist develops new product from coal ash

As one east Tennessee community struggles to recover from the devastating spillage of coal ash from a nearby Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) coal-burning plant on to its land and waterways, one man is working to find better uses for the waste leftover from coal burning. Mulalo Doyoyo, an assistant professor in Georgia Tech’s School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, has developed a new structural material from coal ash and bottom ash that is strong and lightweight enough to serve as an alternative to cement in concrete. The new coal ash byproduct, called Cenocell, has good insulating properties and is fire ... Read More

Congressional committee to ask ‘why’ coal ash spills occur

A congressional committee will focus on why a large Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) coal ash impoundment failed last December, which resulted in one of the largest environmental disasters in U.S. history, according to News Channel 5. The breach caused more than a billion gallons of coal ash sludge to spill on to 300 acres of an east Tennessee community, destroying homes and damaging property in its wake. Coal ash contains dangerous toxins such as arsenic and lead which can contribute to serious health problems such as cancer, liver damage and neurological problems. Since the spill, the TVA has spent a ... Read More

Research consortium to guide coal ash cleanup, health monitoring

Oak Ridge Associated Universities (ORAU), a Tennessee-based independent university research group, is working out a contract with the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) to guide the cleanup efforts and the health monitoring of residents in and around the site of last December’s coal ash spill, according to the Miami Herald/Associated Press. More than a billion gallons of toxic material poured on to 300 acres of an east Tennessee neighborhood late last year when a coal ash impoundment at the TVA’s Kingston, Tennessee, plant failed. The spill destroyed homes and damaged property, and has raised serious concerns about human safety not only ... Read More

TVA hosts second community open house about coal ash spill

The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) will host a community open house in Harriman, Tennessee, today to answer questions about the utility’s cleanup efforts and testing on air, water and soil in the area. The community open house is the second forum hosted by the TVA in an effort to keep those in the area apprised of the utility’s efforts to “right” the environmental “wrong” created when its Kingston, Tennessee coal ash impoundment pond failed late last year and poured more than a billion gallons of coal ash sludge on to 300 acres of property in a rural Tennessee community. Coal ... Read More

Residents ask judge to halt TVA’s cleanup efforts

More than two dozen residents of the east Tennessee community affected by the December 2008 coal ash spill are asking a federal judge to halt the Tennessee Valley Authority’s cleanup efforts until more environmental studies and oversight have been performed, according to the Knoxville News Sentinel. Residents of the area are concerned the TVA is “recklessly forging ahead with a cleanup plan” that will cause the 300 acres of rural property to “sustain even greater environmental damage from preventable contamination, exposure and migration of coal ash through air, land and water.” This is the sixth federal lawsuit filed against the ... Read More

TVA pays millions to property owners affected by coal ash spill

The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) has paid east Tennessee home and landowners more than $9.5 million to compensate them for damages after the utility’s Kingston, Tennessee coal ash impoundment failed late last year and poured more than a billion gallons of toxic coal ash sludge on to a rural community, according to the Knoxville News Sentinel. The utility reported that to date, 61 payouts were made to the owners of 40 homes and about 51 properties on 210 acres of the 300 acres affected by the spill. The homes and land acquired by the TVA generated $62,900 a year in ... Read More

Dredging begins at Tennessee coal ash spill site

The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) has begun dredging coal ash from the Emory River as part of its $1 million-a-day cleanup effort following the massive coal ash spill from a damaged impoundment pond last December. The first hydraulic dredge began sucking the ash out of the river last week. Where they will send it is still anyone’s guess as the TVA and environmental regulators consider their options. The spill dumped more than a billion gallons of coal ash sludge on to 300 acres in an east Tennessee community. Dozens of homes were destroyed or damaged and property was left a ... Read More

Senator asks for more regulation of coal-burning plants

Sen. Benjamin Cardin of Maryland is asking the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to review, inspect and regulate coal ash impoundments from all coal-burning plants in the country, instead of just those run by utilities. Cardin’s request is fueled by last week’s coal ash leak at New Page Corporation, a Maryland paper mill, that spilled 4,000 gallons of toxic coal ash into the Potomac River. The spill caught the attention of lawmakers and environmentalists alike, who are debating how such coal ash ponds should be regulated by the government after the disastrous coal ash spill at a Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) ... Read More

Southern California communities march for safer alternatives to coal-burning

Southern California community members worried about the ill effects from coal-burning mines and power plants are conducting a 100-day national campaign uniting 100 communities in the area urging lawmakers to phase out of coal-based energy and transition to cleaner, renewable sources that would produce more green jobs, according to the Palm Springs (California) My Desert. As part of the campaign, protestors will march Saturday along Palm Canyon in Palm Springs and ask Congress to “quit coal and other fossil fuels and support a clean energy economy,” according to the report. “It is a major source of air and water pollution ... Read More