Coal Ash Cleanup Angers Tennessee Residents

A breach in a huge coal ash storage facility that released 54 million cubic yards of toxic laden ash into the Emory River in Kingston, Tennessee and a nearby neighborhood has residents worried about their health, lost property values and the slow cleanup by the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA). The Environmental Protection Agency recently assumed oversight of the cleanup. Once estimated to be a five-year cleanup, the EPA now plans to remove the majority of ash from the river by mid-2010. TVA has settled 50 personal claims with residents and businesses, but seven lawsuits are pending in federal court, including some that seek class-action status.  To date, the Authority has spent $108 million on the cleanup and estimates the final tab could reach nearly $1 billion.

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