Tagged Articles

Coal Ash 141 articles

Coal ash classification could affect TVA customers’ bills

If the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rules that coal ash waste from utility plants should be classified as a hazardous material, the ripple effect could hit Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) customers right in the wallet. TVA has already said that the billion-dollar cleanup is being footed by customers through their utility bills. That hike is hidden by a recent drop in fuel costs that has helped keep customers’ bills somewhat steady. If and when fuel prices creep back up, customers will see the change. But if coal ash, which contains arsenic and carcinogenic heavy metals, is reclassified as hazardous, it ... Read More

Perry County residents voice concerns about coal ash storage

Ms. Ruby’s smile is infectious, but it is tinged with concern. At 80, she has lived in Perry County, Ala., all her life. But what has happened there these past few months has made her fear for her health. “You might have seen my picture in the paper,” she smiles at the video camera. John L. Wathen, a.k.a. Hurricane Creekkeeper, is shooting the video to capture community reaction to local government’s decision to store toxic coal ash in the nearby Arrowhead Landfill. That coal ash is recovered from the Emory River where more than a billion gallons of the toxic ... Read More

Why is toxic coal ash used to fertilize crops we eat?

We’ve all been told that eating fruits and vegetables can make us healthier. But some crops could make us sick. It’s the fertilizer that’s to blame. Farmers are being encouraged by the U.S. government to dust their fields with waste from coal-firing facilities. It’s a win-win situation, says the government. Coal ash helps loosen and fertilize soil for the farmers, and it helps reduce a waste disposal issue for the coal-firing plants. That coal ash is a synthetic form of the mineral gypsum, produced by power plant “scrubbers” that remove sulfur dioxide from the smoke stack emissions. The chalky substance ... Read More

EPA’s recommendations on coal ash the focus of dispute

As the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ponders how waste from coal-firing plants should be classified, the debate on how best to regulate the toxic material heats up. Here is one more view on The Coal Ash Case, from The New York Times. Editorial: The Coal Ash Case Published January 19, 2010, The New York Times Just more than a year ago, one billion tons of toxic coal sludge broke loose from a containment pond belonging to the Tennessee Valley Authority, burying hundreds of acres of Roane County in eastern Tennessee and threatening local water supplies and air quality. The Environmental ... Read More

Hundreds of coal ash spill victims file lawsuits against TVA

Bruce Duncan’s family lives just three miles from where more than a billion gallons of toxic coal ash spilled from an impoundment pond at the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) coal-firing plant. They watch trucks loaded with recovered coal ash pass by their house every day en route to other landfills specially equipped to store the toxic waste. The Duncans would like to move away to a safer environment, like many in the area have. Living so close to the cleanup has made them ill. They have frequent nosebleeds, frontal headaches, increased shortness of breath, wheezing, asthma exacerbation and increased chest ... Read More

EPA guidelines may require coal-firing plants to plan for disasters

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) may be delayed in proposing new regulations for storage of toxic coal ash, but one item expected to be on the agency’s proposal is gaining applause from conservation groups. The EPA says its plan includes a requirement for coal-firing plants to set aside money that would be used in the event of future toxic waste problems, such as spills or leaks like the one from the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) plant in December 2008 that devastated a neighboring east Tennessee community. Coal ash is not classified as a hazardous material and thus did not fall ... Read More

Contractors to make millions off coal ash spill cleanup

The coal ash spill from the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) coal-firing plant in Kingston, Tenn., may have left some east Tennessee residents homeless and dampened the livelihoods of local business owners, but contractors participating in the massive cleanup will make millions off the deal. Records reviewed by the Knoxville News Sentinel indicate that 10 firms will rake in more than $10 million each from the first phase of the cleanup effort, including Phillips & Jordan, a Knoxville-based disaster recovery specialist, which is expected to earn as much as $95 million from the TVA. The TVA is engaged in a three-year, ... Read More

Coal ash spill worse than originally thought

The December 2008 coal ash spill from a Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) power plant in Kingston, Tenn., was already considered one of the nation’s largest environmental disasters, but one year after the spill, authorities say the devastation is even bigger than first imagined. Eric Schaeffer, executive director of the Environmental Integrity Project, tells The Environment Report’s Tanya Ott that the 2.6 billion pounds of toxic sludge from the east Tennessee impoundment pond is more than the total discharge of all United States power plants last year. The spill, which piled as high as nine feet in some areas, knocked houses ... Read More

TVA customers footing bill for coal ash spill

Customers of the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) are footing the bill for the massive billion-dollar cleanup effort in an east Tennessee community where more than a billion gallons of coal ash spilled creating the largest environmental disaster in U.S. history. However, because of a drop in fuel costs, customers aren’t seeing much change in their bills. If fuel prices creep back up, customers will be in for an unpleasant surprise. The nation’s largest utility is also holding out hope that insurance will cover the cost of the spill, lessening the impact on its rate payers. Before insurances will commit, the ... Read More

Environmentalists to sue NM coal mine for contaminating groundwater

Environmentalist group The Sierra Club plans to sue San Juan Coal Company, a New Mexico coal mine, because the coal ash stored in its unlined landfills has seeped into the ground and is contaminating nearby waterways and wells, according to The New Mexico Independent. The Sierra Club insists that this seepage of toxic material into groundwater poses a danger to livestock, wildlife and families. The company agrees the groundwater is polluted, but says it is not responsible for the contamination. “San Juan Coal Company is confident that allegations of water contamination as a result of coal combustion by-product (CCB ) placement ... Read More