Friday, December 26, 2008

Ending the year with Toxic Disaster

But at Least We Get to have Cheap Electricity!

So Much for Clean Coal...

J. Miles Carey/Knoxville News Sentinel, via Associated Press
Fifteen homes like this one in Harriman, Tenn., were flooded with fly ash sludge on Monday after a storage pond wall broke.

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.

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What may be the nation’s largest spill of coal ash lay thick and largely untouched over hundreds of acres of land and waterways Wednesday after a dam broke this week, as officials and environmentalists argued over its potential toxicity.

Federal studies have long shown coal ash to contain significant quantities of heavy metals like arsenic, lead and selenium, which can cause cancer and neurological problems. But with no official word on the dangers of the sludge in Tennessee, displaced residents spent Christmas Eve worried about their health and their property, and wondering what to do.

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More on this disaster from Tennessee


Anonymous said...

More democRat proPiganda. We havea right to cheap electricity.

Ken Muhler said...

Isn't Bush giving the power industry a bunch of breaks from environmental regulations right before he leaves office?