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toxic coal ash 19 articles

Trial underway to determine liability in TVA coal ash spill litigation

U.S. District Judge Thomas Varlan began preliminary matters Thursday in Knoxville, Tenn., regarding the massive coal ash spill that dumped 5.4 million cubic yards of sludge from a TVA storage pond into the Emory River and surrounding community on Dec. 22, 2008. The toxic tidal wave poured from a breached containment pond at the Kingston Plant and affected hundreds of people who made their home in nearby Roane County, Tenn. This trial will determine liability in the case, but will not address damages at this time. According to a news report by the Associated Press, “The Environmental Protection Agency has ... 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

Rep. Davis fights for people of Perry County in coal ash debate

Toxic coal ash recovered from a massive spill site in east Tennessee was deemed too dangerous by the state of Pennsylvania to be stored there, but some Alabama officials welcomed that coal ash with open arms. One U.S. Representative from Alabama is standing up for the people, urging the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to establish consistent standards at the federal level that would fully address legitimate concerns about the content of coal ash waste. “If coal ash poses an unacceptable level of risk, inconsistent state standards should be immediately replaced with national guidelines that would put the safety of the ... Read More

Cumberland residents say ‘no;’ officials say ‘yes’ to coal ash

Cumberland County, Tennessee, officials saw dollar signs and improved highways when they approved the relocation of coal ash recovered from a neighboring spill site to a landfill atop Smith Mountain. “I call it the Good Neighbor Plan,” says Commissioner Lynn Tollett. “We’ve got a place to put (the recovered coal ash). We can help out and we’re going to gain some income at a time when the economy is not what it ought to be.” The county will reap about $8 million over three years from fees. The project will also help improve the mine where the coal ash will ... Read More

Emory River to remain closed until February as cleanup continues

A 1 ½-mile stretch of the Emory River in east Tennessee will remain closed to boat traffic through mid-February – several months longer than expected – while the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) continues to dredge the river to remove toxic coal ash that spilled there following a coal ash impoundment pond breach last December. The dredging is part of a three-year, $1 billion cleanup of the area with hopes to restore the land and waterways that were badly damaged and contaminated following the massive spill. The river was originally closed for 30 days in early August, followed by another 30-day ... Read More

TVA to raise rates, borrow money, cut spending

The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), facing a near-$1 billion bill for the cleanup of a massive coal ash spill at its Kingston, Tenn., coal-firing plant, a pension shortfall, waning power sales, and court-ordered environmental upgrades, says it will increase electric rates, borrow up to $3 billion over three years, and cut spending in order to pay its due. The nation’s largest utility has been caught in a swarm of  bad luck, beginning with the largest drop in sales it had ever seen in its 76-year history, thanks to a struggling national economy. That was compounded by court-ordered clean-air improvements to ... Read More

Residents near coal ash spill sign up for free medical screenings

More than 100 people in Tennessee are concerned enough about their health following a massive coal ash spill in their community that they have signed up for free medical screenings. These are people who lived in or around Kingston, Tennessee last December when a Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) coal ash impoundment pond burst, sending 1.1 billion gallons of toxic coal ash on to 300 acres of neighboring property and into the Emory River. That spill destroyed homes and damaged property and forced officials to hang signs warning people against swimming in nearby waters or eating fish caught in them. The ... Read More

Will TVA consumers’ voices fall on deaf ears?

At a public meeting this week, Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) consumers voiced concerns about the safety of moving toxic coal ash from the Kingston, Tenn., plant and whether the nation’s largest utility has considered natural gas for electricity production over coal and nuclear power. But those concerns may likely have fallen on deaf ears. The TVA has pulled together an advisory panel to put together an Integrated Resource Plan that will set the course for the utility for the next several years. But some are skeptical that consumers’ interests will be considered, arguing that the advisory panel is stacked with ... Read More

Proposal to store coal ash could bring jobs to Cumberland County

Not everyone is trying to keep the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) from dumping coal ash on its property. One company wants the TVA to pay them to haul and hold coal ash in its Cumberland County strip mine. TVA has been involved in a massive cleanup effort ever since its Kingston, Tennessee coal ash impoundment pond burst last December and dumped more than a billion gallons of toxic coal ash on to 300 acres of a neighboring community and into the Emory River. No end seems to be in the near future for the country’s largest public utility, which says ... 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