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Tennessee Valley Authority 143 articles

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

Environmentalist groups want TVA to be prosecuted, fined

The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) should be prosecuted and penalized for not ensuring the safety of its Kingston, Tenn., coal ash impoundment pond to prevent it from breaking and spilling a billion gallons of toxic coal ash on to a neighboring rural community, according to angry environmental groups. But a long-standing federal rule that limits how the Justice Department can prosecute federal agencies could protect the nation’s largest utility from paying its fair dues. “No corporation or agency should be above the law, especially at the expense of the environmental well-being of our citizens, wildlife and waters,” said Robert Dreher, ... 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

Coal ash spill site still devastated one year later

Nearly one year after a coal ash impoundment at the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) Kingston, Tenn., coal-burning plant breached, sending 1.1 billion gallons of toxic coal ash on to 300 acres of a neighboring community, toppling houses, destroying property and contaminating the Emory River, it’s hard to believe that the TVA can live up to its promise to restore the land to its original beauty. Even if it can, whose to say the damage hasn’t already been done? “Concerns have been raised as to the impact of the contamination on groundwater supplies and air quality as well as effects on ... Read More

EPA tests Lawrence County residents for potential toxic chemicals

It is not uncommon for industries to sell byproducts for profit. For example, the Tennessee Valley Authority sells some of the coal ash it produces, a byproduct from coal-burning, to companies for use as a filler in concrete in roads, bridges and concrete blocks; material for wallboard; granules for roofing shingles; grit for sandblasters; filler for recreation areas such as ball fields and industrial parks; and fertilizer for crops. It is considered safe for those uses even though coal ash has been found to contain dangerous toxins such as arsenic, lead, chromium, manganese and barium – materials that have been ... Read More

TVA CEO still well paid after salary reduction

The massive coal ash spill from the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) coal-burning plant in Kingston, Tenn., that blanketed nearby community last year with toxic material has resulted in a 43 percent cut in pay for TVA CEO Tom Kilgore. In its year-end financial report, Kilgore was paid $1.5 million in the fiscal year that ended September 30, nearly $1 million less than what he was paid the year before. The salary reduction was blamed partially on a drop in power sales as a result of a slumping economy. But the TVA also did away with performance bonuses for top executives, ... Read More

Advisory board recommends tougher controls over coal ash storage

A Tennessee state advisory board is calling for tougher regulation of coal ash impoundment ponds and recommending that the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) turn over control of its storage ponds to the Dam Safety Group, according to WRAL. The board, which formed in the wake of last year’s massive coal ash spill from the Kingston, Tenn., TVA plant, released a report this week outlining its recommendations. The board also recommended that an independent board oversee the design, construction and closure of ash retention ponds. Barbara Martocci, TVA spokeswoman, said the Dam Safety Group will take over the inspection of all ... Read More

More coal ash lawsuits filed against TVA

More lawsuits have been filed against the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) as a result of last year’s massive coal ash spill in east Tennessee, bringing the number to 14, according to a report by News Channel 3. One year ago this month, a coal ash pond at the TVA’s Kingston, Tennessee, coal-burning plant breached, sending a wave of toxic material onto 300 acres of neighboring property. Piled as much as nine feet high in some areas, the wave of coal ash toppled houses, destroyed property and poured into the nearby Emory River. No one was killed when the wave tumbled ... 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

TVA executives will not receive raises, performance bonuses this year

Top executives at the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) have been told not to expect their hefty performance bonuses this year because of lagging electricity sales from a weak economy and the massive coal ash spill that has drained the utility of more than a $1 billion. The utility’s CEO banked more than $1 million in bonuses for fiscal year 2008, and the nine executives who answer to him took home a combined $1.2 million. Those executives and some 3,300 other managers and specialists at the TVA were also told not to expect any raises for fiscal year 2010 unless they ... Read More