Monday, January 5, 2009

Tennessee's governor talks tough after coal ash spill

Environment News Network: Governor Phil Bredesen has told the Tennessee Valley Authority that after the coal ash spill at its Kingston Fossil power plant state officials will not allow the federal agency to continue to inspect itself. "We will be looking over their shoulders," the governor said. "I have asked the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation to immediately do inspections" at all seven of the TVA's coal-fired power plants and fly ash waste systems.

…The collapse dumped 5.4 million cubic yards - more than one billion gallons - of ashy sludge onto farms and residential properties in east Tennessee.…Arsenic at more than 100 times the maximum contaminant level allowed by the federal government has been found in the Emory River near the spill site, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The EPA released laboratory test results Friday showing that arsenic levels in one sample were 149 times the maximum allowable level. Water samples near the spill site also showed levels of lead five times higher than normal and elevated total levels of antimony, beryllium, cadmium and chromium.

Samples taken upstream from the spill site near the Kingston water treatment plant were found to be within the federal limits, except for thallium, which was found at levels three times the maximum limit, according to the EPA test data…..

FDR signing the legislation that created the Tennessee Valley Authority

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