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Coal Ash Flood Still a Mess 100 Days Later


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View Jared Saylor's blog posts
31 March 2009, 9:31 AM
 

You can do a lot in 100 days. But apparently if you're the Tennessee Valley Authority and you spilled a billion gallons of coal ash into the Emory River and surrounding communities, cleaning up your mess isn't one of them.

You'll recall that just three days before Christmas in 2008, a coal ash dump broke, spilling out 1 billion gallons of toxic-laden coal ash over 300 acres, finding its way into nearby streams and creeks, damaging over a dozen homes and putting an entire community at risk.

Well, April 1 is the 100th day since that spill. And while much has been accomplished and the important issue of coal ash disposal reached the front pages of many newspapers, there's still much left to be done to control and regulate this toxic waste.

TVA made some quick announcements and started their spin control on the issue (check out our comprehensive and very cool timeline of the 100 Days Since TVA). Congress got involved, taking the EPA to task for failing to protect public health. The new EPA administrator, Lisa Jackson, vowed in her confirmation hearing to take action, and by mid-March she did. Too bad it only took a catastrophe almost 50 times bigger than the Exxon Valdez spill to get EPA's attention... 

Today (March 31), the US House of Representatives is holding another hearing, hauling up TVA officials to ask them what's been happening to clean up the mess in Harriman, TN.

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