Tagged Articles

Coal Ash 141 articles

EPA says coal ash regulations will not come in 2009

Environmental groups and coal-firing operations will have to wait even longer for federal regulations to ensure the protection of public health and the environment regarding the storage of coal ash, according to a statement from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The agency was saddled with the hefty task of setting guidelines on the storage of coal ash impoundment ponds months ago and had promised a decision on regulating those plants by the end of the year. But as the days ticked by, having a proposal before 2010 rang in was looking less and less likely. The EPA confirmed that hunch ... Read More

Tenn. coal ash spill among worst man-made environmental disasters

Last year, when a coal ash impoundment pond at the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) fossil fuel plant in east Tennessee breached, sending a wave of toxic material on to a neighboring rural community, the event made headlines worldwide as one of the largest environmental disasters in U.S. history. It also landed in the No. 1 spot on EarthFirst.com’s “America’s Top 10 Worst Man-Made Environmental Disasters”. “Humans have turned screwing up the earth into an art form, skillfully wreaking havoc on the land, water and air through negligence, lack of concern or even the greedy desire to profit at all costs,” ... Read More

EPA says coal ash is safe to use as fertilizer on crops

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says it is OK for farmers to spread coal ash on to their fields to fertilize soil, even though the material contains toxins that have been linked to serious health complications such as cancer and liver damage. The agency says that the material contains just a trace amount of toxins that don’t pose a risk to humans through groundwater contamination or by consuming the crops. But environmentalists beg to differ. The coal ash, a byproduct of fossil fuel plants, which for years farmers have used to fertilize their fields, is also used to strengthen concrete ... Read More

TVA coal ash spill – one year later

One year ago today, coal ash poured out from an impoundment pond at the Kingston Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) fossil fuel plant and blanketed a neighboring community with more than a billion gallons of toxic material. Houses were destroyed, property was damaged, waterways were contaminated, lives were changed forever. One year after the devastating spill, the TVA is engaged in a massive cleanup expected to take three years and more than $1 billion, but residents see little improvement. “The community that was the first affected by the ash spill on Dec. 22, 2008 (is) the same community that to this ... Read More

Turner calls coal ash storage a ‘godsend’

Alabama County Commissioner Albert Turner, Jr. says last year’s disastrous coal ash spill from a Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) coal-firing plant that destroyed homes, damaged property and contaminated nearby waterways turned out to be a “godsend” for the poor, black community he represents – an economic boon “unseen since the state of Texas struck oil.” Perry County, Ala., is receiving shipments of coal ash recovered from the east Tennessee spill site and storing it in a landfill. Not only is the county receiving millions of dollars in storage fees, the work has generated several dozen new jobs for people in ... Read More

Environmentalist groups want TVA to be prosecuted, fined

The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) should be prosecuted and penalized for not ensuring the safety of its Kingston, Tenn., coal ash impoundment pond to prevent it from breaking and spilling a billion gallons of toxic coal ash on to a neighboring rural community, according to angry environmental groups. But a long-standing federal rule that limits how the Justice Department can prosecute federal agencies could protect the nation’s largest utility from paying its fair dues. “No corporation or agency should be above the law, especially at the expense of the environmental well-being of our citizens, wildlife and waters,” said Robert Dreher, ... Read More

Emory River polluted with carcinogens, dangerous metals

More pollutants and carcinogens were dumped into waterways near the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) Kingston, Tenn., plant in 2008 than were released to waterways by the entire U.S. power industry in 2007, according to a report by the Environmental Protection Agency. The report showed as much as 140,000 pounds of arsenic and nearly 60,000 pounds of metals poured into the Emory River, which runs near the plant. The report was released ahead of congressional hearings this week on the coal ash spill in Kingston that occurred last year. That spill dumped about 5.4 million cubic yards of coal ash on ... Read More

Perry County residents file lawsuit against ADEM

“How do you spell relief? COAL ASH,” says Perry County, Alabama Commissioner Albert Turner, Jr., in remarks prepared for a hearing of the House Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment. Turner testified this week about how the historically poor and black county is benefiting from shipments of coal ash recovered from the east Tennessee community where it spilled from a neighboring coal-firing plant. The problem is residents of Perry County are more apt to call the arrangement a nightmare rather than a boon to the community. Last December, the lives of the residents of Kingston, Tenn., were changed forever when ... Read More

Coal ash spill site still devastated one year later

Nearly one year after a coal ash impoundment at the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) Kingston, Tenn., coal-burning plant breached, sending 1.1 billion gallons of toxic coal ash on to 300 acres of a neighboring community, toppling houses, destroying property and contaminating the Emory River, it’s hard to believe that the TVA can live up to its promise to restore the land to its original beauty. Even if it can, whose to say the damage hasn’t already been done? “Concerns have been raised as to the impact of the contamination on groundwater supplies and air quality as well as effects on ... Read More

EPA tests Lawrence County residents for potential toxic chemicals

It is not uncommon for industries to sell byproducts for profit. For example, the Tennessee Valley Authority sells some of the coal ash it produces, a byproduct from coal-burning, to companies for use as a filler in concrete in roads, bridges and concrete blocks; material for wallboard; granules for roofing shingles; grit for sandblasters; filler for recreation areas such as ball fields and industrial parks; and fertilizer for crops. It is considered safe for those uses even though coal ash has been found to contain dangerous toxins such as arsenic, lead, chromium, manganese and barium – materials that have been ... Read More