published Tuesday, January 6th, 2009

Tennessee: Environmental groups prepare to sue TVA

A coalition of local residents and environmental groups announced today they have notified the Tennessee Valley Authority of an intent to sue the agency for negligence surrounding the Dec. 22 coal ash spill at the Kingston Steam Plant.

Four environmental groups — Appalachian Center for the Economy and the Environment, Earthjustice, Public Justice, and Sierra Club — joined with dozens of local residents to request a federal court to oversee the cleanup and compensation for the spill.

“This catastrophic spill was a colossal tragedy, and the Tennessee Valley Authority could have avoided this disaster had it taken its responsibilities seriously,” said Bruce Niles, director of Sierra Club’s National Coal Campaign.

The groups filed the notice of intent to sue TVA for negligence following a similar notice filed last week against TVA by the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, which filed its suit under the Clean Water Act.

TVA spokesman John Moulton said the agency will review any filings and respond in court.

TVA President Tom Kilgore has pledged to clean up the ash spilled at the Kingston plant and “make whole” residents hurt by the spill.

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EMNoorsworthy said...

Realizing, of course, that the TVA is old hat at being sued, they drag these cases out ad infinitum and will not run out of money in doing so.

Also, I would not recommend that the judiciary run or oversee any kind of project. First, it is an improper role for them in our three-part government and secondly, the result is guaranteed to be unsatisfactory to all but the TVA.

I have suggested that the sitting president (George Bush) immediately form a Task Group to tackle the problem - today, not sometime "in the near future".

If this president refuses to take action, it should be incumbent on the new one to take similar action.

In the 1964 Alaska earthquake, President Lyndon Johnson sent his man there to work miracles in that disaster. His name was Dwight Ink with whom I later worked on his staff at HUD.

This is no time for Katrina-like federal responses; unfortunately, it is the laggard federal government who must tackle this disaster. Surely, there is someone with backbone who can get the job done.

I have written extensively about the TVA and have advocated its dissolution, its liquidation to try and pay off some of its enormous $25 billion debt and to let free enterprise run the utility as it should be run. (See )

Ernest Norsworthy

January 6, 2009 at 9:14 p.m.
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