Tennessee coal ash spill – Residents sue federal power utility

Residents file lawsuit against Tennessee Valley Authority for toxic coal ash spill.

JusticeNewsFlash.com–Property owners and residents of eastern Tennessee filed a lawsuit against the federally owned utility company, Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA). As reported by Bloomberg, Roane County, Tennessee, residents were covered in over 1 billion gallons of toxic sludge on December 22, 2008, when a retaining wall at the Kingston Fossil plant failed. The waste-storage pond for the TVA plant, 40 miles west of Knoxville, spilled massive amount of toxic chemicals on the rural neighborhood covering over 300 acres and damaging at least 45 homes and other properties.

Environmental experts and authorities found levels of arsenic and other toxic heavy metals in the sludge well above drinking water standards. Residents were evacuated, homes were destroyed and local water wells are currently off limits. The legal complaint also states the coal ash spilled, by TVA, contained toxic metals such as arsenic, lead, mercury, boron, thallium, cadmium and antimony. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) www.epa.gov lists arsenic as a Class A human carcinogen and says arsenic can cause lung cancer when inhaled.

The eight residents who have filed the lawsuit are seeking damages for injuries to personal property, medical monitoring for potential health effects, and loss of quality of life. The residents are also asking the court system to order the TVA to clean up their mess. Property owners want the sludge removed and are demanding a judge order TVA to monitor air and water quality for toxic components.

Bloomberg also reported the TVA announced it was investigating a leak at the Widows Creek Fossil plant in Stevenson, Alabama. Apparently the plant was leaking gypsum form a pond and the leak was discovered early this morning.

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Heather L. Ryan, R.N., C.L.N.C- Heather Ryan is a Certified Legal Nurse Consultant with 15 years of experience in the health care industry. Her expertise in reviewing medical records and assisting lawyers with the determination as to whether legal action should be taken provides an invaluable asset to the newsroom. Medical-malpractice, products liability, personal injury and workers’ compensation are some of the recent areas of litigation Ms. Ryan has focused her efforts on. A member of the Florida Justice Association, Heather maintains a long list of certifications and credentials to support her areas of expertise and stays up-to-date with her clinical knowledge working as an emergency room/trauma nurse, at a Level 1, Adult/Pediatric trauma and teaching institution in South Florida.