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Video and update: Enivornmental Disaster in Tennessee

(excerpt from Earth Times on-line)

Environmentalists call Tennessee sludge spill a ‘disaster’

Washington – Five days after an earthen dam in Tennessee burst and spilled millions of cubic metres of coal ash slurry down a river valley, families were still evacuating and environmentalists Friday called it an “historical energy disaster.”The dam burst on Monday [December 22, 2008], releasing an estimated 5.4 million cubic metres of slurry into the Emory River and displacing 12 to 15 families, broadcast and newspaper reports said.

The 16-hectare pond was used by the Tennessee Valley Authority, one of the country’s largest utilities,to store ash from the coal- burning Kingston Steam Plant in Harriman, Tennessee, about 80 kilometres west of Knoxville, Tennessee, a TVA spokesman told the Knoxville Journal.

The sludge was spread over at least 100 hectares, the newspaper reported. The Emory River feeds into the Clinch River, which empties into the Tennessee River…

There are multiple pathways in which people can become potentially affected by these heavy metals, including bodily contact, drinking water, air pathways and aquatic wildlife and fish, and we feel that appropriate warnings should be expressed to ensure the safety of Tennessee residents,” Smith said.

12/25 Video posted at youtube:


One Response

  1. In the early morning hours of December 22 life for many in Harriman Tennessee changed forever. An earthen dam which held back, by some estimated, 500 million gallons of sludge laden with coal ash from the TVA (Tennessee Valley Authority) power plant. Homes were destroyed, land and water contaminated. This dam according to TVA spokesman was “inspected regularly”
    So too is the sludge dam above Marsh Fork Elementary, Raleigh County WVA The only difference is that the dam that hovers above the children each day in school is that it holds 2.8 BILLION gallons (over 5X what the TVA dam held), and that estimate is from old numbers attained before the coal company increased the sludge impoundments size by over 6 acres without a permit.
    I ask why worry, its “inspected regularly” and that seems to satisfy most, even our own Governor Joe Manchin

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