Front Porch Blog

Size of TVA spill is three times initial estimates, officials admit

A coal ash spill in eastern Tennessee that experts were already calling the largest environmental disaster of its kind in the United States is more than three times as large as initially estimated, according to an updated survey by the Tennessee Valley Authority.

As reported in various news media, including the New York Times, officials at TVA initially said that 1.7 million cubic yards, or 240 million gallons of wet coal ash, had spilled into the Emory and Clinch rivers following the breach of an earthen retention pond at the Kingston Steam Plant in Harrington, TN. But on Thursday, the TVA released news that the flooded region contained 5.4 million cubic yards, or over 1 billion gallons of coal sludge–enough to flood more than 3,000 acres one foot deep.

The amount now said to have been spilled is larger than the amount the authority initially said was in the pond, 2.6 million cubic yards.

Read the full New York Times article…

Jamie is an Appalachian native with a deep and unshakeable love of the mountains her family has called home since the mid-1700s. With a background in journalism and communications, she has worked as AV's Senior Communications Coordinator since 2008, and served as editor (2008-2016) and consulting editor (2016-present) for The Appalachian Voice.


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