Date: June 5, 2009
Source: News Room
Environmentalists are worried about a plan by the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) to ship millions of tons of coal ash from its massive spill in Kingston, TN last December to a private landfill in rural Alabama. According to a recent Associated Press article, The Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM) said it received notice from TVA this week that it planned to ship 3 million cubic yards of coal ash to the privately-owned Arrowhead Landfill near Uniontown, AL in Perry County. The landfill, which was only permitted in July 2006, is permitted to accept 7,500 tons per day and is served by rail, allowing for the relatively efficient transport of large volumes of waste from far afield. With ADEM's approval, the TVA would begin shipping 85 rail cars of coal ash every two days beginning June 16. The plan could run into trouble with environmentalists worried about heavy metal and hazardous materials contained in spent coal ash. Opponents could also raise environmental justice claims given that the destination landfill is located in a mostly African-American county in which 31 percent of the population lives in poverty.