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Early TVA memo indicates effort to minimize coal ash disaster

A memo that apparently passed through the hands of several folks at the TVA drafting “talking points” about the Kingston Fossil Plant coal ash spill of Dec. 22 appears to attempt to minimize the significance of the disaster, according to a report today from the Associated Press. The memo was apparently sent to the AP by accident, according to their report. They say the memo shows additions and deletions that change more alarming language to tone down the sense of urgency and threat resulting from the coal ash spill. An example cited by the AP story says the word “catastrophic” ... Read More

2nd coal ash spill reported in Alabama

According to the Tenneseean, the TVA is investigating a leak from a gypsum pond at its Widows Creek coal-burning power plant in northeastern Alabama, a spokesman said at about 10:45 a.m. Central Time. The leak, discovered before 6 a.m. has been stopped, according to John Moulton, with the Tennessee Valley Authority. Advertisement “Some materials flowed into Widows Creek, although most of the leakage remained in the settling pond,” he said. Gypsum is a byproduct of coal-burning power plants when “scrubbers” are added that use limestone spray to clean air emissions. This pulls sulfur dioxide from the emissions. Tighter air emissions ... Read More

Beasley Allen files coal ash spill class action lawsuit on behalf of residents and property owners affected

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Montgomery, Ala. – Beasley, Allen, Crow, Methvin, Portis & Miles, P.C., has filed a class action suit on behalf of property owners damaged by the Dec. 22, 2008 Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) spill at the Kingston Fossil Plant. Located 40 miles west of Knoxville, Tenn., the plant released 1.1 billion gallons of toxin-laden sludge into a rural neighborhood when a waste storage pond retaining wall failed. The suit is filed against the TVA, the nation’s largest public utility, over potentially the most significant environmental disaster since the Exxon Valdez oil spill. Beasley Allen will be working with ... Read More

Ash ponds at two Birmingham coal facilities top list for arsenic

A report published today by the Birmingham News says the coal ash retaining ponds at two Birmingham-area coal-fired energy plants contain the highest levels of arsenic in the country, ranked and Nos. 2 and 3 on a list compiled by the Environmental Integrity Project (EIP). The study evaluates the amount of ash deposited in on-site ash ponds and landfills from 2000-2006, according to the News report. The EIP released the report, titled “Disaster in Waiting: Toxic Coal Ash Disposal in Impoundments at Power Plants” yesterday. The report says U.S. Environmental Protection Agency data shows power plants are disposing of high ... Read More

Beasley Allen evaluating claims resulting from Tennessee coal-ash spill disaster, eyeing safety of Alabama plants

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE MONTGOMERY, ALA. – Beasley, Allen, Crow, Methvin, Portis & Miles, P.C., is currently evaluating claims on behalf of property owners affected by a devastating coal ash spill in Tennessee. The disaster spilled thousands of pounds of coal ash and toxic waste across more than 300 acres. The event occurred when an earthen retaining wall at the Kingston Fossil Plant failed, creating one of the largest coal fly ash spills in the United States. The plant is located 40 miles west of Knoxville, Tenn. Coal-fired power plants produce coal ash and other toxic waste byproducts. The waste contains ... Read More

Tennessee Ash Flood Larger Than Initial Estimate

By Shaila Dewan, New York Times A coal ash spill in eastern Tennessee that experts were already calling the largest environmental disaster of its kind in the United States is more than three times as large as initially estimated, according to an updated survey by the Tennessee Valley Authority. Officials at the authority initially said that about 1.7 million cubic yards of wet coal ash had spilled when the earthen retaining wall of an ash pond at the Kingston Fossil Plant, about 40 miles west of Knoxville, gave way on Monday. But on Thursday they released the results of an ... Read More

Tennessee Coal Ash Spill Before And After — And What’s Next

By Dave Burdick December 30, 2008 The online environmental community is abuzz with reports of all kinds about the coal ash sludge spill in Tennessee, ranging from first-hand accounts to health concerns to worries about coal in general. Twitter in particular has been a place where people have been posting news stories and concerns. A local blog also posted before and after photos of the affected area. Joe Romm blogs at ClimateProgress that the muck has a lot of people worried about how easy it would be for another such spill to happen: Coal ash deposits in the USA are ... Read More

Tennessee governor, other officials to tour site of major coal ash spill from power plant

December 31, 2008 Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen and other state officials plan to tour the site of a major spill of coal ash from a power plant. The officials were scheduled Wednesday to walk through the area in rural eastern Tennessee where a billion gallons of sludge covered more than 300 acres and spilled into a river. Bredesen is also expected to discuss steps being taken to protect the health and safety of area residents. The Dec. 22 deluge from a Tennessee Valley Authority power plant destroyed three houses, displaced a dozen families and damaged 42 parcels of land, but ... Read More

Coal Ash Spill Leads to Arsenic Warnings for Tennessee Wells

By Alex Nussbaum December 30, 2008 Water samples near a billion-gallon spill of coal ash in eastern Tennessee have found levels of arsenic and other heavy metals higher than drinking-water standards, prompting a warning against using private wells in the area. Samples taken at the site of the spill in Harriman, 35 miles southwest of Knoxville, “slightly exceed” the standards for some metals, according to a statement from the Tennessee Valley Authority, owner of the coal power plant where the Dec. 22 accident occurred. Results from well-water and air tests won’t be known until later this week, the utility said. ... Read More