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 TVA Coal Ash Disaster



ACTION NEEDED: Tell Congress to regulate coal combustion waste (6-9-09)

A coalition of 109 organizations is pushing back against Congressmen who do not want to regulate the disposal of coal combustion waste. Please call your Congressperson and ask him/her not to sign on to letters sponsored by industry that seek weak CCW ”guidelines” that skimp on environmental protections.

Independent fish sampling results find high levels of toxic chemicals in Kingston, TN fly ash deposits and Emory River fish (5-18-09)

Preliminary analyses of ash, water, sediments, and fish tissues collected near the spill site 18 days following the dike failure revealed the following:

1) the total recoverable toxic elements arsenic, barium, cadmium, lead, and selenium in water exceeded protective drinking water and/or aquatic life criteria levels;

2) ash and ash-laden river sediments had arsenic levels that exceeded the EPA removal limits; selenium levels increased dramatically downstream of the spill;

3) selenium levels in fish were at and beyond the thresholds of toxicity for reproduction and growth;

4) fish suffered internal and external impacts from the spill, with abnormal changes to gills in particular;

5) detailed analysis of floating ash particles (cenospheres) found that approximately 10% of these particles contain an iron oxide coating that may be transporting arsenic into water.



TVA's toxicity tests fall short (1-19-09)

The method TVA and others are using to test and analyze the toxicity of the coal ash splayed through a neighborhood, fields and streams beside TVA's Kingston power plant can't adequately determine the potential risk, experts say.

The levels could be higher — or lower — than the tests show. [Full story on Tennessee Green]


-- TVA Coal Ash Spill by the numbers [Knoxnews article]


Second Sampling Trip on the Emory River (1-12-09)

On January 8th and 9th, staff from the Tennessee Aquarium, scientists from Appalachian State University and the Watauga Riverkeeper collected water and fish samples from the Emory River. Below is a video compilation with voice-over commentary.

<--- View the video

Article about the preliminary results (1-14-09)

NRDC blog post by Rob Perks

United Mountain Defense also made a sampling trip on the Emory River on January 8, read their report.





Photo by Antrim Caskey

Up close and personal (12-31)

New York Photographer Antrim Caskey releases poignant images from the Kingston coal accident. At left, DeAnna Copeland holds on photo of what her back yard used to look like before the Kingston Fossil Plant coal sludge spill. View all of Antrim's pics


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Life on Swan Pond after the TVA: A victim of the TVA spill starts a personal blog

The History of Coal Waste: Coal byproducts contaminate hundreds of sites in US

Waterkeeper River and Soil Sampling

Independent fish sampling results find high levels of toxic chemicals in Kingston, TN fly ash deposits and Emory River fish (5-18-09)

      Additional tests 18 days following the disaster find high levels of toxic
      chemicals in Kingston, TN fly ash deposits and Emory River fish.

      Press release (pdf)View the results (pdf)

Preliminary independent tests find high levels of toxic chemicals in Harriman TN fly ash deposits (1-1-09)
      Full storyView the results (pdf)Map of testing sites
      Video interview with ASU professors part 1 and part 2

Waterkeepers, Appalachian Voices Take Samples from Ground Zero (12-27-08)     
      Full StoryRaw Video FootageCompiled Video Footage
      Photos by Hurricane Creekkeeper John Wathen
      Photos by Watauga Riverkeeper Donna Lisenby and Sandra Diaz


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