We wrote in the February issue about the Coal Ash problems in Tennessee. Independent water quality tests around the massive coal ash spill at TVA’s Kingston Fossil Plant show high levels of arsenic and other toxins in river water near the disaster site and several miles downstream. The Environmental Integrity Project, a nonpartisan, nonprofit group, has released preliminary results from water sampling at 22 locations from December 30 through January 4. The samples were collected about two weeks after over a billion gallons of ash sludge and water spilled from the containment area at the Kingston Fossil Plant. The high levels of contaminants were found only in river water, not in private wells. The Washington, D.C-based organization had this to say about the tests:
The preliminary data reveal that contaminant levels in these water samples violate both U.S. primary drinking water standards and Tennessee’s water quality criteria.
It should be noted that the president of the Tennessee Valley Authority has finally acknowledged the massive sludge flood was worse than the agency’s public relations staff initially said. He now calls the coal ash spill a “catastrophe.'” This contradicts an internal TVA memo obtained by The Associated Press in which the description of the disaster was changed from “catastrophic” to a “sudden, accidental” release. The TVA memo was also edited to remove “risk to public health and risk to the environment” as a reason for measuring water quality and the potential of an “acute threat” to fish.
Our firm is continuing to work on the lawsuit we filed in a Tennessee federal court and will be doing intense discovery in an effort to obtain more information relating to the overall problem. If you need more information on this matter, contact Rhon Jones who heads up our Toxic Torts Section at 800-898-2034.
Source: wate.com and Associated Press
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