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Tennessee Valley Authority 143 articles

Illinois lawmakers ask White House not to classify coal ash as hazardous

A group of Illinois lawmakers are asking the White House not to classify coal ash as a hazardous material because doing so would cripple their state’s economy. In a letter to the Office of Management and Budget, the bipartisan group of congressmen expressed concerns that reclassifying the byproduct from coal-firing plants would raise the cost of energy for Illinois consumers. It would also hamper local utilities’ ability to recycle the coal ash in products like cement, concrete and other building materials, a process that the group says generates thousands of jobs in Illinois. Coal ash storage is currently under review ... 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

Coal ash classification could affect TVA customers’ bills

If the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rules that coal ash waste from utility plants should be classified as a hazardous material, the ripple effect could hit Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) customers right in the wallet. TVA has already said that the billion-dollar cleanup is being footed by customers through their utility bills. That hike is hidden by a recent drop in fuel costs that has helped keep customers’ bills somewhat steady. If and when fuel prices creep back up, customers will see the change. But if coal ash, which contains arsenic and carcinogenic heavy metals, is reclassified as hazardous, it ... Read More

TVA to host symposium on fly ash research

The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) is hosting a symposium March 11-12 on fly ash research as part of its response to last year’s catastrophic spill at its Kingston Fossil Plant. The event will be coordinated by Oak Ridge Associated Universities (ORAU) and held at Roane State Community College in Harriman. Registration is $50. The goal of the two-day event is to identify areas of collaboration among those conducting coal combustion product research; to call attention to gaps in current research and technologies; and to inform the public of current and future research initiatives, according to ORAU, a university consortium that ... 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

Why is toxic coal ash used to fertilize crops we eat?

We’ve all been told that eating fruits and vegetables can make us healthier. But some crops could make us sick. It’s the fertilizer that’s to blame. Farmers are being encouraged by the U.S. government to dust their fields with waste from coal-firing facilities. It’s a win-win situation, says the government. Coal ash helps loosen and fertilize soil for the farmers, and it helps reduce a waste disposal issue for the coal-firing plants. That coal ash is a synthetic form of the mineral gypsum, produced by power plant “scrubbers” that remove sulfur dioxide from the smoke stack emissions. The chalky substance ... Read More

TVA, plaintiffs’ attorneys meet in court to discuss speedy resolution

The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) is facing 57 lawsuits from more than 560 plaintiffs over the December 2008 coal ash spill that dumped more than a billion gallons of toxic material on to 300 acres of a neighboring community. The spill destroyed homes, damaged property and contaminated the nearby Emory River. Several residents have complained of headaches, nosebleeds, breathing problems and heightened anxiety as a result of living near the spill site. Attorneys with Beasley Allen Law Firm are among those who filed have filed lawsuits on behalf of residents affected by the catastrophic spill. This week, TVA attorneys and ... Read More

TVA enjoys record-breaking energy sales

The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) is enjoying record-breaking sales of its energy, setting records in demand for the 7-day period that ended Sunday. Total weekly energy use throughout the TVA’s 7-state region was more than 200 gigawatt hours higher than the previous record, set August 12, 2007. Total weekly energy use was recorded at 4.633 gigawatt hours, another record for the nation’s largest utility. TVA serves more than 9 million customers in Alabama, Tennessee, Mississippi, Kentucky, Georgia, North Carolina and Virginia. TVA officials say the increased energy demand is a result of extreme cold weather throughout the Southeast. The increase ... Read More

Hundreds of coal ash spill victims file lawsuits against TVA

Bruce Duncan’s family lives just three miles from where more than a billion gallons of toxic coal ash spilled from an impoundment pond at the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) coal-firing plant. They watch trucks loaded with recovered coal ash pass by their house every day en route to other landfills specially equipped to store the toxic waste. The Duncans would like to move away to a safer environment, like many in the area have. Living so close to the cleanup has made them ill. They have frequent nosebleeds, frontal headaches, increased shortness of breath, wheezing, asthma exacerbation and increased chest ... Read More

EPA guidelines may require coal-firing plants to plan for disasters

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) may be delayed in proposing new regulations for storage of toxic coal ash, but one item expected to be on the agency’s proposal is gaining applause from conservation groups. The EPA says its plan includes a requirement for coal-firing plants to set aside money that would be used in the event of future toxic waste problems, such as spills or leaks like the one from the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) plant in December 2008 that devastated a neighboring east Tennessee community. Coal ash is not classified as a hazardous material and thus did not fall ... Read More