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TVA 143 articles

Smith Mountain residents fight coal ash landfill

Tina Nicholson walks down her driveway in Cumberland County, Tenn., every afternoon to meet her kids as they get off the school bus. They often detour down the winding Smith Mountain Road to look at wild growing herbs and enjoy the fresh air. The road is so narrow that when cars pass by, the Nicholson family has to step into a ditch that runs parallel to the road to make room. “Two regular cars cannot pass each other on this road as it is,” she says. But if Crossville Coal Company and Smith Mountain Solutions have their way and are ... Read More

TVA to add scrubbers to clean up Kingston smokestacks

The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) is putting smokestack scrubbers at its Kingston, Tenn., plant, which will clean a greenhouse gas that comes out of its smokestacks and into the air. But in order to do so, the nation’s largest utility will also have to create a new landfill to store the material left behind. The scrubbers will remove sulfur dioxide, a greenhouse gas produced by burning fossil fuels, by venting flue gas through a limestone slurry shower. During this process, the limestone reacts with the sulfur creating gypsum, a stable, nontoxic material that can be recycled and used as an ... Read More

Activists fight coal ash pond expansion along Ohio River

Concerned citizens and environmental activists are opposing plans to expand a coal ash pond along the Ohio River in northern Kentucky because they say if the pond ruptures, it could contaminate drinking water. The proposal from LG&E would build 100-foot-tall walls around an existing coal ash pond, giving it more capacity than the coal ash impoundment at the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) Kingston, Tenn., plant, which failed last year and dumped more than a billion gallons of toxic waste on to a neighboring community. That spill, called one of the largest environmental disasters in U.S. history, knocked houses off their ... Read More

EPA report: Coal ash causes death, deformity in wildlife

Coal ash produced and stored by fossil fuel plants kills fish and other wildlife, damages their reproductive capacity, and contaminates wells, according to a report released this week by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The 230-page report culminates months of research triggered by last year’s massive coal ash spill from the Tennessee Valley Authority’s Kingston, Tenn., plant. That spill dumped more than a billion gallons of toxic material onto a neighboring community where it knocked houses from their foundations, damaged property and contaminated nearby waterways. The report highlights the concern environmentalists have had for years – that coal ash produced ... Read More

TVA keeps overlook of coal ash spill site closed to general public

Residents of Kingston, Tenn., are tired of the bad rap their rural community has gotten since a neighboring coal ash impoundment pond breached, sending a wave of toxic material on to its property and waterways. That spill, called the worst environmental disaster in U.S. history, destroyed homes, damaged property, and contaminated popular waterways. The last thing residents want is for the public to view that mess at will, even while the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) undergoes a years-long, $1.2 billion cleanup of the mess it made. Those residents this week applauded a decision made by the TVA to keep an ... Read More

Families weigh decision to move away from TVA coal ash storage site

Six generations of Jere McCraw’s family are buried on his 300-acre farm near Bridgeport, Ala. The land has been in his family since 1830, and he doesn’t want to sell it. But a Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) coal ash pond in nearby Widows Creek is threatening his land. Last January, just one month after a coal ash pond at the TVA’s Kingston, Tenn., plant broke, sending a wave of toxic sludge on to 300 acres of neighboring property and waterways, contaminated water accidentally leaked from the Widows Creek plant. The TVA recalculated that pond’s rating as “high hazard” and spent ... 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 transports recovered coal ash to Alabama landfill at epic speed

The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) is clearing coal ash that spilled into the Emory River faster than originally anticipated, shipping it to a landfill in Alabama by the railcar load. The recovered coal ash is part of a more than billion-gallon spill from an impoundment pond at the TVA’s Kingston, Tenn., coal-firing plant last December. That spill, considered one of the largest environmental disasters in U.S. history, destroyed homes, damaged property, sickened residents, and left a deep scar on the county’s public image. Now that toxic material recovered from the river is shipping to the poor and predominantly black county ... Read More