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TVA 143 articles

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

Contractors to make millions off coal ash spill cleanup

The coal ash spill from the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) coal-firing plant in Kingston, Tenn., may have left some east Tennessee residents homeless and dampened the livelihoods of local business owners, but contractors participating in the massive cleanup will make millions off the deal. Records reviewed by the Knoxville News Sentinel indicate that 10 firms will rake in more than $10 million each from the first phase of the cleanup effort, including Phillips & Jordan, a Knoxville-based disaster recovery specialist, which is expected to earn as much as $95 million from the TVA. The TVA is engaged in a three-year, ... Read More

Coal ash spill worse than originally thought

The December 2008 coal ash spill from a Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) power plant in Kingston, Tenn., was already considered one of the nation’s largest environmental disasters, but one year after the spill, authorities say the devastation is even bigger than first imagined. Eric Schaeffer, executive director of the Environmental Integrity Project, tells The Environment Report’s Tanya Ott that the 2.6 billion pounds of toxic sludge from the east Tennessee impoundment pond is more than the total discharge of all United States power plants last year. The spill, which piled as high as nine feet in some areas, knocked houses ... Read More

TVA customers footing bill for coal ash spill

Customers of the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) are footing the bill for the massive billion-dollar cleanup effort in an east Tennessee community where more than a billion gallons of coal ash spilled creating the largest environmental disaster in U.S. history. However, because of a drop in fuel costs, customers aren’t seeing much change in their bills. If fuel prices creep back up, customers will be in for an unpleasant surprise. The nation’s largest utility is also holding out hope that insurance will cover the cost of the spill, lessening the impact on its rate payers. Before insurances will commit, the ... Read More

Environmentalists to sue NM coal mine for contaminating groundwater

Environmentalist group The Sierra Club plans to sue San Juan Coal Company, a New Mexico coal mine, because the coal ash stored in its unlined landfills has seeped into the ground and is contaminating nearby waterways and wells, according to The New Mexico Independent. The Sierra Club insists that this seepage of toxic material into groundwater poses a danger to livestock, wildlife and families. The company agrees the groundwater is polluted, but says it is not responsible for the contamination. “San Juan Coal Company is confident that allegations of water contamination as a result of coal combustion by-product (CCB ) placement ... Read More

EPA says coal ash regulations will not come in 2009

Environmental groups and coal-firing operations will have to wait even longer for federal regulations to ensure the protection of public health and the environment regarding the storage of coal ash, according to a statement from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The agency was saddled with the hefty task of setting guidelines on the storage of coal ash impoundment ponds months ago and had promised a decision on regulating those plants by the end of the year. But as the days ticked by, having a proposal before 2010 rang in was looking less and less likely. The EPA confirmed that hunch ... Read More

Tenn. coal ash spill among worst man-made environmental disasters

Last year, when a coal ash impoundment pond at the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) fossil fuel plant in east Tennessee breached, sending a wave of toxic material on to a neighboring rural community, the event made headlines worldwide as one of the largest environmental disasters in U.S. history. It also landed in the No. 1 spot on EarthFirst.com’s “America’s Top 10 Worst Man-Made Environmental Disasters”. “Humans have turned screwing up the earth into an art form, skillfully wreaking havoc on the land, water and air through negligence, lack of concern or even the greedy desire to profit at all costs,” ... Read More

Coal ash spill among top news stories in Tennessee

The Associated Press and AP member newspapers and broadcasters have listed the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) coal ash spill as one of the biggest news events in Tennessee in 2009. The coal ash spill occurred on Dec. 22, 2008, but the fallout reverberated well into 2009, dominating headlines across the nation. Last December, 1.1 billion gallons of toxic coal ash spilled out from an impoundment pond at the TVA’s Kingston, Tenn., plant and onto 300 acres of a neighboring community. The spill, piled as high as nine feet in some areas, knocked houses from their foundations, destroyed property and contaminated ... Read More

EPA says coal ash is safe to use as fertilizer on crops

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says it is OK for farmers to spread coal ash on to their fields to fertilize soil, even though the material contains toxins that have been linked to serious health complications such as cancer and liver damage. The agency says that the material contains just a trace amount of toxins that don’t pose a risk to humans through groundwater contamination or by consuming the crops. But environmentalists beg to differ. The coal ash, a byproduct of fossil fuel plants, which for years farmers have used to fertilize their fields, is also used to strengthen concrete ... Read More

TVA claims protection as coal ash lawsuits mount

Environmental lawsuits can be complex and take years to resolve because the damages may take decades to surface, says Gregory Button, a University of Tennessee anthropologist who studies environmental disasters such as the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill. That means the fallout from last year’s Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) coal ash spill that blanketed a neighboring community with toxic material in what some call the nation’s largest environmental disaster of its kind, could linger for years. “There is a lot of scientific uncertainty in this case, as there are in many environmental cases,” Button said in an interview with KnoxNews.com. ... Read More