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Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation 12 articles

Tennessee senate votes to accept toxic waste from everywhere

NASHVILLE, TENN — Despite the efforts of two Tennessee state senators to halt or at least curtail the amount of nuclear waste in landfills, the State Senate voted Monday to continue to permit the dumping of radioactive waste in four Tennessee landfills. Senator Beverly Marrero, a Democratic senator from Memphis, told colleagues on the Senate Environment, Conservation & Tourism Committee that she remains concerned about the volume of radioactive waste pouring into the state for processing and burial. She introduced a bill to stop or at least restrict the amount of the waste that four Tennessee landfills are authorized to ... 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

EPA to oversee TVA’s coal ash cleanup efforts

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) signed an enforceable agreement with the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) to oversee the removal of coal ash from its east Tennessee fossil fuel plant where a coal ash impoundment breached and dumped more than a billion gallons of toxic coal ash on to a neighboring community and into the Emory River. The TVA was also ordered to reimburse the EPA for any costs associated with its oversight of the cleanup. As part of the oversight, TVA is required to perform a comprehensive cleanup from the Emory River and surrounding areas. The utility’s work will ... 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

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 releases details of coal ash spill cleanup plan

The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) this week released to state regulators its plan to clean up the mess it left behind when its Kingston, Tennessee, plant dumped 1.1 billion gallons of toxic mess in east Tennessee last December. The plan outlines a detailed disposal plan that includes turning the Kingston coal ash ponds into dry ash storage and capping the existing pond, to “limit chances of another ash pond leak,”according to the Times Free Press. Converting the coal ash ponds to dry ash storage will take about 18 to 24 months to complete. Meantime, TVA will continue working on cleaning ... Read More

TVA coal ash victims testify about property, personal damages

Residents of Roane County, Tennessee who experienced property damage or suffered health complications following the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) coal ash spill last December continue to give testimony to members of the Tennessee State House Environment Committee, according to MSNBC. Lawmakers are trying to make sure the TVA is doing everything possible to right the situation. We told you earlier about Penny Dodson and her 18-month-old grandson Evan. For 10 days after the spill, they stayed in their home instead of fleeing. She was told by TVA authorities that they would be safe. But when Evan started having trouble breathing, ... Read More

Scientists say spill site should be converted to research center

A team of scientists involved in the testing and cleanup efforts in Kingston, Tennessee, following the massive coal ash spill at a Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) impoundment pond, are proposing that the TVA turn the site into an independent educational and research center rather than try to clean up the sludge, according to the Knoxville Business News. The scientists say that spending $1 million per day to clean the site and restore it to its pre-spill condition is simply not practical. Late last December the TVA coal ash pond spilled over, dumping 1.1 billion gallons of toxic material on to ... Read More

Scientists confirm sludge contains arsenic, radium

Duke University scientists have confirmed the fears of most residents in the east Tennessee community that fell victim last month to the massive TVA pond coal ash spill that dumped more than a billion gallons of toxic waste on to their property and into nearby rivers. Scientists have concluded that sludge in the area contains high levels of arsenic and elevated levels of radioactive radium – enough to cause harm to humans if the cleanup isn’t done with extreme caution, according to MSNBC/Associated Press. Exposure to arsenic and radium can have cause serious health issues in humans, including cancer, liver damage ... Read More

Previous leaks should have signaled warning

Two small leaks that preceded December’s Kingston, Tennessee coal ash spill by years went largely ignored by the Tennessee Valley Authority, according to Forbes/Associated Press. The spill dumped more than a billion gallons of toxic ash and mud on to 300 acres of a rural east Tennessee neighborhood, pouring into nearby rivers and destroying property and wildlife in its wake. What remains are remnants of dangerous materials including arsenic, lead, chromium, manganese and barium. In 2003 and 2006, two small leaks occurred at the Kingston plant, which raised the interest of the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation. That agency asked TVA ... Read More