Coal Fly Ash Slurry Case Study

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There was a video that was released to the public that showed vast amounts of dead fish just floating on top the Clinch River and portrayed the high toxicity level of the river after it had received the runoff from the TVA spill. In response to the release of the video, the Tennessee Valley Authority took steps to stabilize the runoff. A spokesperson for the Tennessee Valley Authority stated that even though the river did have some trace of heavy metals that the coal fly ash slurry was not toxic and in terms of toxicity one cannot call it toxic until the final analysis comes in (XXX). An attorney with the Southern Environmental Law Center called the statement irresponsible and stated that coal fly ash slurry contains concentrated amounts of mercury, arsenic, and benzene. Local residents and environmental groups expressed concern that the fly ash slurry could become more dangerous once it dries out. On January 1, 2009, the TVA disseminated a fact sheet stating that the ash is not hazardous. Due to pressure exerted in 2000 by the coal industry and by the Clinton administration, fly ash is not strictly regulated as a toxic pollutant by the EPA.…show more content…
Beyond the ash itself, the Tennessee Valley Authority did a $40 million study to determine the residual effects on the environment and wildlife from the spill and what ash remains in the rivers. About 500,000 cubic yards of ash remain. It has mixed with decades-old radioactive pollution from the Department of Energy 's nearby nuclear reservation in Oak Ridge, making it too risky, difficult and expensive to remove. The study found no major risks from the remaining ash, but TVA is required to monitor wildlife for the next 30 years. TVA also has pledged $43 million in support to Roane County, $32 million of which has been invested at nine area schools. The agency also has built a park and walking trails where the Lakeshore Drive neighborhood once stood and will provide land to the county for ball fields and recreational

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