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Environmental Spill Disaster Devastates Tennessee; 48 Times the Size of Exxon Valdez

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By Matthew McDermott

An environmental disaster of epic proportions has occurred in Tennessee. Monday night, 2.6 million cubic yards (the equivalent of 525.2 million gallons, 48 times more than the Exxon Valdez spill by volume) of coal ash sludge broke through a dike of a 40-acre holding pond at TVA's Kingston coal-fired power plant covering 400 acres up to six feet deep, damaging 12 homes and wrecking a train.

According to the EPA the cleanup will take at least several weeks, but could take years. Officials also said that the magnitude of this spill is such that the entire area could be declared a federal superfund site.

Toxic Sludge Got Into Tributary of Chattanooga Water Supply

Apart from the immediate physical damage, the issue is what toxic substances are in that sludge: Mercury, arsenic, lead, beryllium, cadmium. Though officials said the amounts of these poisons in the sludge could not be determined on Monday, they could (at the mild end) irritate skin or trigger allergies or (longer term) cause cancer or neurological problems.

This toxic sludge got into the Emory River, a tributary of the Clinch and Tennessee Rivers: The water supply for Chattanooga, Tennessee as well as millions of people living downstream in Alabama, Tennessee and Kentucky. TVA says that as yet the spill (which they are characterizing as a mudslide or landslide, but frankly it's still toxic…) has not affected the water quality in the Emory River.

High Levels of Rain, Thaw Freeze Cycles May Have Weakened Pond Walls

On why the spill happened, the Tennessean speculated,

The area received almost 5 inches of rain this month, compared with the usual 2.8 inches. Freeze and thaw cycles may have undermined the sides of the pond. The last formal report on the condition of the 40-acre pond -- an unlined, earthen structure -- was issued in January and was unavailable Monday, officials said.

Greenpeace Calls for Criminal Investigation

In a press release issued yesterday, noting that spills of similar substances have resulted in felony charges, Greenpeace called for a criminal investigation into the spill:

"Every facility like this is supposed to have a spill contingency plan to prevent this kind of disaster," said Rick Hind, Greenpeace Legislative Director. "The authorities need to get to the bottom of what went wrong and hold the responsible parties accountable."

TVA Releases Official Statement

In an official statement, TVA president and CEO Tom Kilgore said,

Protecting the public, our employees, and the environment is TVA's primary concern as we supply electric power for the people of Tennessee Valley region. We deeply regret that a retention wall for ash containment at our Kingston Fossil Plant failed, resulting in an ash slide and damage to nearby homes.We are grateful no injuries have been reported, and we will take all appropriate actions to assist those affected by this situation.

We appreciate the continuing efforts of local and state agencies, as well as TVA employees, to respond to this situation quickly and efficiently. Our intense effort to respond effectively will continue 24/7 for the foreseeable future with the safety of the public our top priority.

http://www.alternet.org/environment/115323...f_exxon_valdez/

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Wow, I'm guessing those 12 families whose homes were wrecked are wondering what they did so naughty as to get them not just a couple lumps of coal in their stocking, but a whole houseful! :o

Somebody really needs to figure out how to convince people that coal and fossil fuels are bad, and that windmill farms are wonderful things, not ugly "view stealing" things. Too many local governments just allow the NIMBY syndrome to take over. IMO, a windmill farm is far better than a freakin coal mine in my back yard :P


divorced - April 2010 moved back to Ontario May 2010 and surrendered green card

PLEASE DO NOT PRIVATE MESSAGE ME OR EMAIL ME. I HAVE NO IDEA ABOUT CURRENT US IMMIGRATION PROCEDURES!!!!!

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Filed: K-1 Visa Country: China
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Wow, I'm guessing those 12 families whose homes were wrecked are wondering what they did so naughty as to get them not just a couple lumps of coal in their stocking, but a whole houseful! :o

Somebody really needs to figure out how to convince people that coal and fossil fuels are bad, and that windmill farms are wonderful things, not ugly "view stealing" things. Too many local governments just allow the NIMBY syndrome to take over. IMO, a windmill farm is far better than a freakin coal mine in my back yard :P

You can always make the sacrifice and take yourself off the grid . The town I live in passed a law where a windmill farm is allowed only within 1000 ft of an expressway. The expressway is no where near the location where you can build a windmill and make it produce . You need the hills to do this . Thus shutting out any windmill farms without saying they are against windmills. My wife is from china and they do make the sacrifice in her city. You shut down half the city for a few days and send the electricity to another city that is more "inportant". See how far that fly's here. Wait until our next president shuts down our coal industry. we all can make the same sacrifice as the people in china.


If more citizens were armed, criminals would think twice about attacking them, Detroit Police Chief James Craig

Florida currently has more concealed-carry permit holders than any other state, with 1,269,021 issued as of May 14, 2014

The liberal elite ... know that the people simply cannot be trusted; that they are incapable of just and fair self-government; that left to their own devices, their society will be racist, sexist, homophobic, and inequitable -- and the liberal elite know how to fix things. They are going to help us live the good and just life, even if they have to lie to us and force us to do it. And they detest those who stand in their way."
- A Nation Of Cowards, by Jeffrey R. Snyder

Tavis Smiley: 'Black People Will Have Lost Ground in Every Single Economic Indicator' Under Obama

white-privilege.jpg?resize=318%2C318

Democrats>Socialists>Communists - Same goals, different speeds.

#DeplorableLivesMatter

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