The "Christmas Coal Ash Spill" Remembered
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On December 22, 2008 an ash dike ruptured at the Tennessee Valley Authority's Kingston Fossil Plant in Roane County, Tennessee. More than a square kilometer of land was covered in roughly 4 billion liters of coal ash slurry. The slurry quickly made its way into the Emory and Clinch rivers (see map), effectively killing both. Last year's estimates put the total cost of cleaning up the 300-acre spill between $675 million and $975 million–now the TVA has upped that number to as much as $1.2 billion. That's the equivalent of 69 cents more per month from every man, woman and child in the TVA's seven-state coverage area–for the next 15 years! What's worse is that the ash contains toxic elements such as arsenic, mercury, lead and selenium, but coal ash is still regulated as non-hazardous waste. To find out more about this video, and to read David Biello's Scientific Observations of the spill, be sure to check out the full story here. Edited for the web by Eric Olson.