Summary: A federal court ruling has determined that the Tennessee Valley Authority was negligent in its operations and is holding the nation’s largest public utility responsible for the catastrophic coal ash spill into the Emory and Clinch rivers. The utility failed to monitor and control water quality pressure in the dam that constrained the mercury-and arsenic-laden material, which according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency adversely affects human health and the environment.
Environmental groups have filed suit against the EPA, urging it to toughen the regulations on coal ash and enforce repercussions when the industry fails to follow the rules. “The increased danger posed by coal ash dumps underscores the need for EPA to act,” says Lisa Evans, attorney for Earthjustice. “Congressional attempts to cater to the polluters and deny the EPA the authority to protect millions of Americans living near these sites are dangerous and misguided.”