Contact: Dana Wright – 865-522-7007
Dec. 5, 2017 - The Tennessee Clean Water Network (TCWN) and other citizen groups in the state are urging Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) to address the toxic health hazards of weak water discharge limits for a TVA Kingston Fossil Plant permit up for renewal.
TCWN will submit these recommendations to the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation as the department considers what permit limits to impose on the toxic materials discharged to the state’s waters from TVA’s Kingston Fossil Plant.
TDEC is hosting two public meetings on the Kingston Fossil Plant permit on December 7, 2017, at the TDEC office in Knoxville and at the Roane County Courthouse in Kingston.
The Knoxville meeting on Dec. 7 will start with an informational session from 1:30-2:30 PM and the public meeting will be from 2:30-3:30 PM. The TDEC office is located at 3711 Middlebrook Pike.
The Kingston meeting, also on Dec. 7, will start the informational session at 6 PM and the public hearing at 7 PM. The Roane County Courthouse is located at 200 E Race St. in Kingston.
According to TDEC, the permit authorizes discharges of cooling water, process wastewater and storm water runoff from the plant.
“Coal plant wastewater by-products have been demonstrated to contain toxic materials like lead, mercury and arsenic,” said Dana Wright, TCWN’s Water Policy Director. “TCWN and the other citizen groups will be asking TDEC to issue a permit that forces TVA to comply with federal guidelines on these toxic materials as soon as possible.”
“TVA has indicated it is willing to comply with the federal guidelines on an accelerated schedule, but the proposed TDEC permit extends the deadline for compliance by years. Coal ash is a terrible health hazard and people’s health and well-being is at stake here.”
“TDEC should write the strongest permit under the law and not give TVA forever to clean up the health hazards at the Kingston Fossil Plant,” Wright added.
The Kingston Fossil Plant was the site of the nation’s largest coal ash spill on Dec. 22, 2008, releasing approximately 1.1 billion gallons of coal ash slurry into the Emory and Clinch rivers.
TCWN and the Tennessee Scenic Rivers Association won a lawsuit this year in a Nashville federal district court concerning the pollution caused by the coal ash from TVA’s Gallatin Fossil Plant along the Cumberland River. The judge in that case ruled that there was a connection between the plant and toxic materials in the area’s groundwater and the Cumberland River.
The federal judge ordered TVA to dig up the coal ash and place it in a safer, lined disposal area to prevent more leakage into the area’s water resources. TVA is currently appealing that decision.
Tennessee Clean Water Network is a nonprofit organization created to advocate for strong policies and programs that result in more effective protection and restoration of Tennessee’s waters and to educate organizations, decision-makers and the public about important water resource issues. Visit TCWN’s website at www.tcwn.org for more information on TCWN’s programs and policies to improve water quality in the state.