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East Tennessee 56 articles

Jacobs Engineering Failed to Protect Coal Ash Cleanup Workers, Jury Finds

Jacobs Engineering, the government contractor hired to clean up and remediate the Tennessee Valley Authority’s (TVA) disastrous 2008 coal ash spill, failed to protect its workers from the slew of toxins in the sludgy waste, a federal jury has found. The Dallas-based global contractor employed hundreds of construction workers to clean TVA’s coal ash spill, which occurred when the company’s retaining ponds and facilities in Kingston, Tennessee failed. The resulting food of coal ash sludge – the byproduct of coal burning to generate electricity – knocked houses from their foundations, contaminated two rivers, and covered hundreds of acres of land ... 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

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

Smith Mountain residents fight coal ash landfill

Tina Nicholson walks down her driveway in Cumberland County, Tenn., every afternoon to meet her kids as they get off the school bus. They often detour down the winding Smith Mountain Road to look at wild growing herbs and enjoy the fresh air. The road is so narrow that when cars pass by, the Nicholson family has to step into a ditch that runs parallel to the road to make room. “Two regular cars cannot pass each other on this road as it is,” she says. But if Crossville Coal Company and Smith Mountain Solutions have their way and are ... Read More

TVA to add scrubbers to clean up Kingston smokestacks

The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) is putting smokestack scrubbers at its Kingston, Tenn., plant, which will clean a greenhouse gas that comes out of its smokestacks and into the air. But in order to do so, the nation’s largest utility will also have to create a new landfill to store the material left behind. The scrubbers will remove sulfur dioxide, a greenhouse gas produced by burning fossil fuels, by venting flue gas through a limestone slurry shower. During this process, the limestone reacts with the sulfur creating gypsum, a stable, nontoxic material that can be recycled and used as an ... Read More

Emory River to remain closed until February as cleanup continues

A 1 ½-mile stretch of the Emory River in east Tennessee will remain closed to boat traffic through mid-February – several months longer than expected – while the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) continues to dredge the river to remove toxic coal ash that spilled there following a coal ash impoundment pond breach last December. The dredging is part of a three-year, $1 billion cleanup of the area with hopes to restore the land and waterways that were badly damaged and contaminated following the massive spill. The river was originally closed for 30 days in early August, followed by another 30-day ... Read More

TVA’s new chairman says coal ash disaster must not happen again

The new chairman for the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) says the disastrous coal ash spill that dumped more than a billion gallons of toxic material on to an east Tennessee community and into the Emory River must never happen again, according to WHNT-TV. Kentucky baker and former Republican Party chairman Mike Duncan, who has signed on to oversee the nation’s largest utility, made the comment at the board’s meeting earlier this week. He said the agency is already facing an uphill battle with lower electric sales from the downturn in the economy and mounting costs to clean up the mess ... Read More

Family worries about cattle, health, livelihood after coal ash spill

Even though the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) is monitoring the air and water near Kingston, Tennessee, for dangerous levels of toxins, Sandy Gupton takes water samples from the flooding on her farm just to be sure. “Our farm is the largest acreage affected,” said Sandy’s husband Terry in an interview to the Chattanooga Times Free Press. “TVA does not want to admit that the spill has devastated our lives, tainted our land and reduced our livelihood to a fraction of what it was before the spill.” The Guptons herd Gelvy cattle on their land, and worried for their cattle’s safety ... Read More

TVA asked to pay for PR campaign to improve image of damaged area

The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) is being asked to cover the cost of a three-year, $1.9 million public relations campaign aimed at improving the image of Kingston, Tennessee. The nation’s largest public utility is being blamed for tarnishing the region’s reputation. Once thought of as a destination for water sports and recreation, the east Tennessee community, which includes parts of the Emory River, is now covered in a mass of toxic debris that locals feel may cause them serious illness. McNeely Pigott & Fox Public Relations LLC submitted a proposal and budget, which includes a two-year advertising campaign; a two-year, ... Read More

Pennsylvania says no to TVA coal ash storage

Coal ash that poured from the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) Kingston, Tennessee, Fossil Plant onto an east Tennessee community last December and recovered by cleanup crews is far too toxic to be stored in Pennsylvania’s coal mines, according to officials in that state. Authorities issued a statement saying it has strict regulations for the material to be stored there. Coal ash contains dangerous toxins such as arsenic, barium, chromium and manganese, which have been associated with serious health concerns such as cancer, liver damage and neurological complications. “I don’t know what Tennessee law is, but under Pennsylvania law it would ... Read More