The Skywriter

Folks in Tennessee get rude reminder of just how dirty coal is

24
Dec

Folks in Tennessee get rude reminder of just how dirty coal is

Greenpeace wants a criminal investigation in to coal ash spill

Yesterday, the people of Tennessee got a real-life reminder that coal is a dirty fuel. More than 500 million gallons of coal ash sludge spilled into the Emory River yesterday. The spill followed the breach of a dike at a coal-fired power plant owned by the Tennessee Valley Authority, and covered as many as 400 acres of land with potentially toxic ash as high as six feet deep.

According to the Nashville Newspaper, the Tennessean, "Millions of yards of ashy sludge broke through a dike at Tennessee Valley Authority's Kingston coal-fired plant Monday...About 2.6 million cubic yards of slurry - enough to fill 798 Olympic-size swimming pools - rolled out of the pond...Cleanup will take at least several weeks, or, in a worst-case scenario, years...The wave of ash and mud toppled power lines, covered Swan Pond Road and ruptured a gas line. It damaged 12 homes..."

As Pete Altman of 1Sky ally Natural Resources Defense Council explained in his blog, the consequences of the spill are yet to be known but "…the long-term impacts could be far greater. Coal ash - the stuff left over after coal is burned - is loaded with toxic metals and other hazardous substances."

1Sky ally Greenpeace is calling for a criminal investigation into the failure of the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) to prevent the spill.

Check out this video footage taken by Mountain Justice to see an aerial view of the widespread damage from the dike break at Tennessee Valley Authorities Kingston Coal Plant.

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