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spill 89 articles

Lawmakers, EPA search for methods to prevent future coal ash spills

Lawmakers sit on both sides of the argument about whether lining the coal ash impoundment at the Tennessee Valley Authority’s Kingston, Tennessee, plant would have prevented the massive spill of toxic material onto neighboring homes and property, but legislation is moving through the Tennessee House and Senate that would require such ponds created or expanded in the future to be lined, according to the Times Free Press. Both the House and the Senate approved the legislation, however the House rewrote the language, requiring the bill to pass back through the Senate for final approval. The bill will not allow laying ... Read More

TVA asks federal judge to dismiss lawsuits

The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) has asked a federal judge to dismiss all lawsuits filed against it as a result of the December 22, 2008, coal ash spill at the utility’s Kingston, Tennessee, coal-firing plant, according to the Ledger-Enquirer/Associated Press. The spill occurred when a coal ash impoundment pond failed and dumped more than a billion gallons of toxic material on to 300 acres of a neighboring community and into the Emory River. The utility claims its responsibility is to clean up the spill. It also says it has a financial responsibility to its 9 million customers. To date, the ... Read More

TVA leaves some coal ash spill victims high and dry

The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) has paid more than $20 million buying 71 properties in the east Tennessee community that were affected by the December 2008 coal ash impoundment breach. And while TVA is negotiating to buy more, it has already turned down 160 other offers from residents in the area, according to Forbes/Associated Press. “We are trying to balance between doing the right thing by the people that were impacted by this (and) keeping in mind that this is ratepayer money,” TVA senior vice president Peyton Hairston told The Associated Press last week. The buyout is part of a ... Read More

Coal combustion sites need government regulations

Power plants in the U.S. produce more than 125 million tons of coal combustion waste each year, most of which ends up in dry landfills or in above-ground coal slurry pounds. In 2000, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) listed that material as non-hazardous and thus it didn’t fall under any strict government regulations. However, the method for the regulation of coal ash has come under scrutiny after a Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) impoundment pond failed last December and dumped more than a billion gallons of coal ash sludge over 300 acres of an east Tennessee community, destroying homes and damaging ... Read More

Coal ash victims may not get the compensation they deserve

When the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) coal ash impoundment pond burst last December, it did more than dump a billion gallons of toxic material on to peoples’ property and into Emery River where people from all around would fish, boat and swim. It destroyed homes in its wake, and quickly diminished property values. And it created a nuisance not just to those who had to flee the area, but to the ones who stayed who now live with the 20-hour-a-day, continuous cleanup effort by the TVA. The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) ordered total remediation so that the ... Read More

Coal ash disaster affects those not directly affected by spill

Residents of east Tennessee probably thought little of the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) coal-firing plant in Kingston, or the toxic brew of coal ash that had been brimming in an impoundment pond for years. But as residents built homes on property just miles away and fished and boated in the Emory River that snaked nearby, the pond walls were beginning to seep and were showing erosion scarring in some areas. Yet, an October 2008 inspection deemed the Kingston Fossil Plant structurally sound. And life went on as normal for the residents of Kingston. Until December 22, 2008, when the walls ... Read More

Engineers raised questions about coal ash pond walls decades ago

For decades, engineers raised questions about the walls of an impoundment pond containing toxic coal ash at the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) Kingston, Tennessee coal-burning plant, according to the KnoxvilleBiz.com. They questioned the way the walls were built and argued that they were not initially designed to stand as tall as they did. Those concerns fell on deaf ears then, but now have a voice after the walls of the pond broke loose last December and dumped 1.1 billion gallons of toxic material on to 300 acres of an east Tennessee community and into the waters of the Emory River. ... Read More

TVA may have to raise customers’ rates to relieve financial woes

The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) may have to lean on customers to relieve some of its financial pains, according to the Associated Press. The nation’s largest utility is spending $1 million a day to clean up the mess left behind when a coal ash impoundment pond at its Kingston, Tennessee coal-burning plant failed and dumped more than a billion gallons of toxic material on to an east Tennessee community and into the Emory River. The coal ash spill cleanup effort is expected to cost the utility between $525 million and $825 million. TVA also faces millions of dollars in pollution ... Read More

Drinking water may be contaminated by coal ash spill

AlterNet.org is reporting that during testing of the water in the Emory River, the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) may have intentionally collected the samples from clean areas, backing up the utility’s claim that that residents’ drinking water is safe. The Emory is a major supplier of drinking water in the area and a popular spot for water sports such as swimming, boating and fishing. However, third-party tests have found high levels of toxins in the river as well as in private wells, according to the report. More than a billion gallons of coal ash sludge spilled over 300 acres of ... Read More

Scientist develops new product from coal ash

As one east Tennessee community struggles to recover from the devastating spillage of coal ash from a nearby Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) coal-burning plant on to its land and waterways, one man is working to find better uses for the waste leftover from coal burning. Mulalo Doyoyo, an assistant professor in Georgia Tech’s School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, has developed a new structural material from coal ash and bottom ash that is strong and lightweight enough to serve as an alternative to cement in concrete. The new coal ash byproduct, called Cenocell, has good insulating properties and is fire ... Read More