Massive Coal Sludge Spill

23 12 2008

http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2008/12/lets_talk_about_clean_coal.php

500 million gallons of sludge left over from burning coal broke the wall containing them and have covered 400 acres, dumping in huge amounts into tributaries of the Tennessee river. This sort of sludge contains Mercury and Arsenic in dangerously high levels.

CNN’s article that just went up said this:

“We deeply regret that a retention wall for ash containment at our Kingston Fossil Plant failed, resulting in an ash slide and damage to nearby homes,” TVA said in a statement released Tuesday.

The understatement here is incredible. “Deeply regret” falls so laughably short of where they should be. This is a six foot wall of toxic sludge covering 400 acres and entering the water supply. They are talking about months or even years to clean this up, and all TVA can come up with is, essentially, “oops, sorry!” They consider it minor because only 10-12 homes were damaged, and no people were killed or seriously injured. Never mind the ecological disaster, it’s perfectly fine! I’d laugh if I weren’t so appalled by it.

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3 responses

28 12 2008
Ben

Well said. It’s a shame (thought not a surprise) that we’re not hearing much about this in the media—NPR included, for which I continue to lose respect by the day. Anyways, I enjoyed your post here. Keep up the good work.

28 12 2008
Perpetual Dissent

I’ve seen a few things on it, but it’s still far short of where it should be. If this had been, say, a forest fire or a mine collapse, it’d be headline news for days. Ah well, hopefully they’ll get better on ecological news as people become more interested/worried about it.

Thanks for the comment!

1 01 2009
IBY

Oh yes, I posted about this too. This is too much of a disaster to just “deeply regret,” say it is just “minor,” and hope this one goes away. Unfortunately, it is not getting a lot of coverage. This should be covered as much as the Exxon Valdez disaster was covered.

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