Massive Tennessee Toxic Ash Spill Aftermath

In a single year, a coal-fired electric plant deposited more than 2.2 million pounds of toxic materials in a holding pond that failed, flooding 300 acres in East Tennessee, according to a 2007 inventory filed with the Environmental Protection Agency.
Hundreds of acres were flooded by sludge in a coal ash spill from a holding pond filled with heavy metals at a Tennessee Valley Authority power plant 40 miles west of Knoxville.
The inventory, disclosed by the Tennessee Valley Authority on Monday at the request of The New York Times, showed that in just one year, the plant’s byproducts included 45,000 pounds of arsenic, 49,000 pounds of lead, 1.4 million pounds of barium, 91,000 pounds of chromium and 140,000 pounds of manganese. Those metals can cause cancer, liver damage and neurological complications, among other health problems.
And the holding pond, at the Kingston Fossil Plant, a T.V.A. plant 40 miles west of Knoxville, contained many decades’ worth of these deposits.
The cost of cleaning up the massive Tennessee toxic coal-ash spill is averaging $1 million a day – and after six months they’ve barely scratched the surface of the problem, let alone figured out what the cost in loss of land, housing, and general environmental wellbeing might be. Ludicrously, coal-ash … TVA Coal Ash – Before and AfterTVA coal ash disaster on December 22, 2008. A TVA coal ash containment “pond” collapsed in Harriman, TN spilling a reported 1 BILLION gallons of toxic waste into an unsuspecting residential neighborhood. This is the largest toxic coal ash spill in United States history.

My parents, my sister, friends and family, they’ve all been devasted.

I made this video for my parents, their neighbors and their attorney to show what life was like on the river before the TVA disaster and after. What was once a beautiful oasis is now a disgusting toxic ashtray.

I emailed the video to my parents on Monday night. Then, I went upstairs to watch a little tv and went to bed. By the time I woke the next morning, the video I had e-mailed to my parents had been viewed over 700 times. I had 84 e-mails in my inbox and a message from Erin Brockovich.

That’s the power of the internet, baby.

What I read and hear from TVA officials is discouraging. The aftermath of this disaster is significant and long-reaching. It’s apparent that some of the folks at TVA just don’t ‘get it.’

The water is not “okay” and the disaster wasn’t just “bad luck” and, no, the EPA is not getting readings of high arsenic levels due to the measurements they use. In fact, the EPA is getting readings of high arsenic levels because there’s arsenic. At high levels. In the water.

The people of this community need solutions, not rhetoric. They need action, not action plans with no deadline. And, obviously, TVA needs oversight, not deference.

If you share my outrage, please share this video.

News footage came from Knoxnews, Chloe White of Knoxnews, and NBC. Photos were provided by local residents. Music in the video is the beautiful “Like a Star” by Corinne Bailey Rae and “Unstoppable” by E.S. Posthumus.

If you have additional photos or documentation concerning the TVA breach, please contact me. I am working on another video and welcome inside information! If you wish to remain anonymous, I can work with that.

Visit me online at


One response to this post.

  1. […] Original post by greenstandards […]


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