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Emory River 47 articles

Judge finds TVA liable for December 2008 coal ash spill

The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) did not build its holding ponds according to plan, did not train its inspectors to ensure the stability of the dikes, and did not properly maintain its Kingston, Tenn., facility in order to prevent one of the worst environmental disasters in U.S. history, a U.S. District judge ruled Thursday. TVA will be held liable for the December 2008 coal ash spill that dumped more than a billion gallons of toxic sludge onto a neighboring community. The ruling allows the hundreds of plaintiffs who filed lawsuits against the TVA to move one step closer to recovering for ... Read More

Trial underway to determine liability in TVA coal ash spill litigation

U.S. District Judge Thomas Varlan began preliminary matters Thursday in Knoxville, Tenn., regarding the massive coal ash spill that dumped 5.4 million cubic yards of sludge from a TVA storage pond into the Emory River and surrounding community on Dec. 22, 2008. The toxic tidal wave poured from a breached containment pond at the Kingston Plant and affected hundreds of people who made their home in nearby Roane County, Tenn. This trial will determine liability in the case, but will not address damages at this time. According to a news report by the Associated Press, “The Environmental Protection Agency has ... Read More

Oil spill reminiscent of coal ash disaster

The story is all too familiar: Big business being oblivious to the harm they can cause not just us but the environment in which we live. Just last year BP suggested that an accident leading to a massive crude oil spill was all but impossible. Yet, it happened. A blowout from a riser pipe a mile below the water’s surface is pouring as much as 60,000 barrels of oil into ocean every day. The spill is so massive it is expected to be far larger than the Exxon Valdez disaster, in which about 10 million gallons poured into the ocean. ... Read More

New class action lawsuit filed against TVA, consultants

Plaintiffs in three class action lawsuits have joined forces to fight the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) and two of its consultants for compensation to cover unspecified damages and payment for medical monitoring as a result of the December 2008 coal ash spill from the TVA’s Kingston Fossil Plant in east Tennessee. The amended complaint redefines the class of potential plaintiffs, which includes anyone who owns property in the Swan Pond community around the plant north of the Clinch River, anyone who lived in the same area when the spill occurred, and anyone who owns property on Watts Bar Lake from ... Read More

TVA says Emory River coal ash cleanup nearly completed

The cleanup effort in east Tennessee following the December 2008 spill of coal ash from a Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) impoundment pond is costing more than the utility had expected, but so far the results look promising, says director of the TVA’s cleanup effort, Steve McCracken. Since the cleanup began, the effort has been focused on the Emory River, dredging the bottom of the waterway to keep as much ash as possible from floating downstream. Approximately 70 percent of the river has been dredged and the agency hopes to have the river cleanup completed by May. The spill raised concerns ... 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

More coal ash lawsuits filed against TVA

More lawsuits have been filed against the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) as a result of last year’s massive coal ash spill in east Tennessee, bringing the number to 14, according to a report by News Channel 3. One year ago this month, a coal ash pond at the TVA’s Kingston, Tennessee, coal-burning plant breached, sending a wave of toxic material onto 300 acres of neighboring property. Piled as much as nine feet high in some areas, the wave of coal ash toppled houses, destroyed property and poured into the nearby Emory River. No one was killed when the wave tumbled ... Read More

Resident upset about county’s decision to store recovered coal ash

At 80, Ruby Holmes doesn’t have much fight left in her. So she sits in her home and deals with the deck she’s been given. In her community, which used to be in a place she called a “quiet, beautiful place … nothing but fresh air,” she can no longer open the windows. “That stuff, whatever it is over there, wakes me up, it smells so bad,” she told the Birmingham News. Holmes lives not far from the Arrowhead Landfill in Perry County, Ala., the same landfill that is taking in millions of tons of coal ash recovered from east ... Read More

EPA considers hazardous material classification of coal ash

Rules regarding the storage of coal ash are expected to come from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) before the end of the year, but how the agency plans to categorize coal ash ponds has many environmentalists seeing red. According to a General Accountability Office document listing options currently being discussed, the EPA is considering designating wet coal ash as a hazardous material, but leaving the dry coal ash, or fly ash, categorized as non-hazardous if it is stored in a dry landfill. Several years ago coal ash from power plants was given a non-hazardous rating. Since then, technology has improved ... 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