I've got two stories updating things from the billion gallon coal ash slurry spill at the TVA Kingston power plant near Harriman, Tenn.

First up, the African American Environmental Association is calling on the TVA to stop shipping cleaned up coal ash to landfills in poor and black communities in Alabama and Georgia. The AAEA blog wrote:

The choice of these communities for disposal of the waste raises environmental justice concerns, since almost 41% of Taylor County’s population is African-American and more than 24% of its residents live in poverty, while Alabama’s Perry County is 69% African-American with more than 32% of its population in poverty, according to the latest census data. Residents had no voice in the decision-making process, given that there was no opportunity for public comment.

Second on the news train is a study showing that drinking water near the Emory River near the Harriman spill has been contaminated with 260 times the allowable amount of arsenic, which can cause cancer, organ failure and death. And there's a lot of lead in the water, too. Lovely. Treehugger wrote:
Even though the spill hit way back in December, the repercussions keep on piling up -- now, the Appalachian Voices has completed a study showing that the nearby Emory River, a source of drinking water, has been contaminated with "260 times the allowable amount of arsenic."

There's very little good news coming out of this story. Who woulda thought -- you dump a billion gallons of toxic coal ash sludge and things get very, very messy.


Shea Gunther is a podcaster, writer, and entrepreneur living in Portland, Maine. He hosts the popular podcast "Marijuana Today Daily" and was a founder of Renewable Choice Energy, the country's leading provider of wind credits and Green Options. He plays a lot of ultimate frisbee and loves bad jokes.

Checking in on the TVA coal ash spill
Drinking water near last year's billion-gallon coal ash spill in Tennessee is choked with arsenic and lead, and TVA is shipping cleaned-up coal ash to poor comm