published Thursday, November 7th, 2013

Report finds toxic chemical in groundwater near TVA coal plants

Five years after the billion-gallon coal ash spill in Kingston, Tenn., a new report from Environmental Integrity Project said today that “decades of mismanagement” have led to toxic ground water pollution at all 11 Tennessee Valley Authority coal plants with concentrations of arsenic, boron, cobalt, manganese, and other pollutants exceeding health-based guidelines in dozens of downgradient wells.

The environmental group blasted TVA for not doing enough to monitor the chemical content of groundwater near its coal plants where the group found toxic chemicals at levels up to five times the recommended maximum for human health.

The EIP report was based primarily on Freedom of Information Act requests.

“As we approach the five-year anniversary of the nation’s worst coal ash spill, TVA ought to be leading the effort to clean up groundwater contamination from its leaking landfills and ponds,” EIP Director Eric Schaeffer said. “Instead, the records show patchwork monitoring, and no real effort to contain the damage at these sites. TVA needs a comprehensive plan to monitor and clean up the groundwater contamination caused by years of slipshod disposal practices.”

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