In an article released today by the New York Times, journalist Shiaila Dewan explores the growing fear that Alabamans are trying to cope with: residue from the Tennessee coal ash spill.
In December of 2008, a coal plant operated by the TVA experienced a catastrophic failure of an ash storage system which allowed over one billion tons of muddy sludge to violently escape from its containing wall and destroy hundreds of acres of property. It would also contaminate a nearby tributary of the Tennessee River. While this event is certainly the largest of its kind, it’s certainly not the only occurrence. Coal ash is regarded by some (including experts interviewed in Haynesville) to be similar to nuclear waste in that it is hazardous to the surrounding population and it must be stored indefinitely. When not disposed of properly, coal ash sludge could endanger the lives and property of nearby citizens. Yet another strike on the long list of negative impacts of coal on our society and one more arguing point in favor of the United States (and the world!) getting off coal as soon as possible.
Now some 9 months into the cleanup of the Tennessee sludge spill, folks in Alabama are being paid to allow the storage of this sludge in their state- and it’s causing an uproar.
-Chris Lyon, Editor of Hayensville
To read the entire NY Times article, click here:
Photo courtesy of Brian Stansberry.