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Kingston 68 articles

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

Gulf coast oil spill reminiscent of coal ash disaster

Another preventable environmental crisis strikes again, leaving behind a murky forecast for those in its wake. First there was the coal ash spill that dumped a billion gallons of sludge on to homes, property and waterways in east Tennessee. Then came the massive oil spill following an explosion in a rig 50 miles off the Louisiana coastline, a still uncontained problem that is oozing millions of gallons of oil into the ocean wreaking havoc in its wake. The residents of Kingston, Tenn., know the scenario well by now. It’s been 14 months since an impoundment pond at the Tennessee Valley Authority ... 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

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

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

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

Advisory board recommends tougher controls over coal ash storage

A Tennessee state advisory board is calling for tougher regulation of coal ash impoundment ponds and recommending that the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) turn over control of its storage ponds to the Dam Safety Group, according to WRAL. The board, which formed in the wake of last year’s massive coal ash spill from the Kingston, Tenn., TVA plant, released a report this week outlining its recommendations. The board also recommended that an independent board oversee the design, construction and closure of ash retention ponds. Barbara Martocci, TVA spokeswoman, said the Dam Safety Group will take over the inspection of all ... Read More