Tagged Articles

Perry County 11 articles

Activist documents coal ash dangers in letter to EPA

“Are the people of Perry County, Ala., less valuable than the people in Kingston, Tenn.?” asks Hurricane Creekkeeper John Wathen. The activist sent a complaint letter to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) administrator Lisa Jackson this week in an effort to stop shipments of coal ash recovered from the east Tennessee spill site to a poor, black community in Alabama. Residents near the Uniontown, Ala., landfill say the coal ash is stinking up their town. And they, too, worry that the same toxic sludge that poured down on the community of Kingston causing serious damage and threatening human health, may create ... Read More

Trickle-down effect causing problems for coal ash disposal

It was bad enough when the coal ash impoundment pond at the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) Kingston, Tenn., plant holding more than a billion gallons of toxic sludge ruptured, sending a wave of coal ash onto a neighboring community and into nearly waterways. Cleaning it up hasn’t been a walk on the beach. One challenge was locating a landfill that would accept the recovered coal ash. The newest issue is finding a company willing to treat the wastewater from that landfill. Coal ash recovered from the Kingston spill is being shipped by train car to Arrowhead Landfill in Perry County, ... Read More

Lawsuit to halt coal ash dumping held up by landfill’s bankruptcy

The residents of Perry County, Ala., were just gearing up to file a lawsuit against Arrowhead Landfill. The landfill had entered into an agreement with the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) to accept coal ash recovered from the east Tennessee spill site, generating millions of dollars and a handful of jobs for the very poor, predominantly black community. But residents argued that the benefits came at too high a price. Coal ash is toxic, containing arsenic and carcinogens that have been linked to serious health problems. To make matters worse, the constant trainload deliveries of coal ash to the landfill were ... 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

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

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

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

Cumberland residents say ‘no;’ officials say ‘yes’ to coal ash

Cumberland County, Tennessee, officials saw dollar signs and improved highways when they approved the relocation of coal ash recovered from a neighboring spill site to a landfill atop Smith Mountain. “I call it the Good Neighbor Plan,” says Commissioner Lynn Tollett. “We’ve got a place to put (the recovered coal ash). We can help out and we’re going to gain some income at a time when the economy is not what it ought to be.” The county will reap about $8 million over three years from fees. The project will also help improve the mine where the coal ash will ... Read More

Uniontown residents concerned about shipments of coal ash

Coal ash recovered from an east Tennessee community where the toxic material spilled after an impoundment pond breached at the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) coal-firing plant in Kingston, Tenn., is already being shipped to landfills in other states, creating jobs and bringing money to impoverished counties, but residents of an Alabama community receiving the shipments aren’t pleased. “Money ain’t worth everything,” says Mary Gibson Holley, a retired teacher in Uniontown, in an interview with the New York Times.“In the long run, they ain’t looking about what this could do to the community if something goes wrong.” When the coal ash ... Read More

EPA approves TVA’s bid to store recovered coal ash in Alabama

More than half of the toxic coal ash spilled on to an east Tennessee community can be stored in a landfill in Perry County, Alabama, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) will begin immediately shipping the coal ash by rail. Perry County is populated by predominantly blacks and is one of the poorest counties in the state where more than 30 percent of families live in poverty. Residents there will benefit from the plan, gaining about 50 jobs and earning millions off dumping fees. However, opponents say the plan is unjust. More than a ... Read More