SELC files federal lawsuit against TVA over coal ash

Tennessee Valley Authority's Gallatin Fossil Plant along the Cumberland River near Nashville, TN (© Nancy Pierce, Photographer; Flight by Southwings)

In an effort to end decades of coal ash pollution contaminating one of Nashville's drinking water sources, today SELC filed a lawsuit in federal court.

Representing the Tennessee Scenic Rivers Association (TSRA) and the Tennessee Clean Water Network (TCWN), SELC brought action against the Tennessee Valley Authority's Gallatin Fossil Plant. Contamination from the plant has been found in the Cumberland River and Old Hickory Lake and levels far exceeding federal standards set by the Clean Water Act.

Last November, the conservation groups filed a notice of intent to file a citizens’ suit against TVA for violations of the Clean Water Act. In response to the notice, the State of Tennessee brought a civil enforcement action under Tennessee law against TVA. The conservation groups have since intervened in the state’s enforcement action and now bring this federal lawsuit to address multiple ongoing violations of the federal Clean Water Act that will not be addressed by the state enforcement action.

“We want to ensure that TVA stops its ongoing pollution of the Cumberland River and Old Hickory Lake and move the toxic coal ash to a safer location away from waterways,” said Anne Davis, Managing Attorney at SELC. “Over 1 million people in the Nashville area depend on the Cumberland River for clean drinking water. TVA’s continued illegal discharge of toxins and its failure to clean up the decades of contamination puts our communities at risk.”

Read SELC's press release for more details about the lawsuit.

The Tennessean and News Channel 5 also covered this latest development.

More News

SELC op-ed: Duke Energy doesn’t want you to know the truth about Sutton Lake

After Duke University scientists announced that Duke Energy has repeatedly polluted Sutton Lake near Wilmington with its coal ash, it responded w...

TVA announces big coal ash clean up after state, SELC sue

Millions of tons of coal ash will be moved out of unlined leaking pits upriver of Nashville thanks to a settlement announced today. The State of...

More pollution found at Duke Energy coal ash sites

Duke Energy’s own reports required to be made public by the national Coal Combustion Residuals rule (CCR rule) and filed last week disclose that...

Settlement puts lake, industrial site on path to clean up

Though a former aluminum smelting operation along the shores of North Carolina’s Badin Lake shuttered in the ‘90s, on-site hazardous waste has co...

Join us at “A Road to Change”

Registration is required for this free event. Save your spot here:

More Stories