Front Porch Blog

TVA sends spilled coal ash to impoverished black communities in Georgia and Alabama

According to an article published this week on the Institute for Southern Studies’ webzine Facing South, “the TVA has begun shipping toxic coal ash from the massive spill that occurred last December at its Kingston, Tennessee power plant to landfills in the neighboring states of Georgia and Alabama. The counties where the ash is going have large black populations and high poverty rates, raising questions about environmental justice.

“Landfill officials in Georgia and Alabama told the paper that their facilities are lined with both clay and synthetic barriers, which makes them more protective than the unlined surface impoundment where TVA stored the ash prior to the spill.”

But according to the article, “researchers have found that solid waste landfills tend to be located disproportionately in communities of color and low-wealth communities. The communities that will be getting the coal ash from Tennessee apparently did not get a chance for meaningful involvement in that decision since neither the TVA — a federally-owned corporation — nor regulatory authorities provided an opportunity for public comment.”

“The urgency of doing something with the spilled ash is growing. Last week’s heavy rains in the Tennessee Valley washed large amounts of coal ash from the spill site and sent it flowing down the Emory River. There are also concerns that hot, dry summer weather will make it difficult to control airborne coal ash dust, a serious respiratory hazard.”

Read the full article on





Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Leave a Comment