TVA Coal Ash Spill, December 2008

Photo by Dot Griffith

Photo by Dot Griffith / Flight courtesy of Southwings. Click image to view more flyover photos.

On Monday, December 23, 2008, a massive dam at the Kingston coal-fired power plant in Harriman, Tenn., ruptured and spilled 1.1 billion gallons of coal ash into the Clinch and Emory rivers. Appalachian Voices teamed up with Southwings to take pictures from the air and launched two separate missions by water to test the river and fish for pollutants as a result of the spill. [ Read more about the TVA and the Dan River disasters ]

Below are stories, photos and videos of the work we did to help uncover the truth about the largest coal ash disaster to date.

Conducting Tests

Waterkeeper Alliance and Appalachian Voices teamed up to take samples from Ground Zero of the spill on several occasions. Included here are the stories and results of each trip.

First sampling trip

Water and coal ash sample results

Appalachian Voices’ preliminary tests found high levels of toxic chemicals in Harriman, Tenn., fly ash deposits.

Fish sample results

Appalachian Voices conducted additional independent tests 18 days following the TVA disaster, and found high levels of toxic chemicals in the fly ash deposits and in Emory River fish.

Dot Griffith FlyoverPhoto Archives

Additional resources