News | February 19, 2015

NewsChannel 5 investigates coal ash lawsuit against TVA

Ben Hall of NewsChannel 5 in Nashville reports that Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) actually wanted the state to sue when it became clear that it was about to be sued by SELC and its clients for its alleged coal ash pollution into the Cumberland River. The investigation points out that Tennessee's commissioner of environment now heads the agency that, in his previous life as a corporate lawyer, he would often fight in court. The state's lawsuit against TVA moved the case out of federal court where fines could have been $37,500 per day and into state court where fines are much lower at $10,000 a day. Recently SELC filed a motion to be permitted to participate in the state action against TVA. 

According to SELC Senior Attorney Beth Alexander, “The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation has done nothing to require TVA to comply with the permit.” 

In the video, Beth Alexander rides in the NewsChannel 5 helicpoter and points out the areas where we believe pollution from coal ash ponds is leaking into the Cumberland River. 

Learn more about SELC's lawsuit against TVA:

Read the text of the NewsChannel 5 report “State Sues TVA – At TVA's Request”

Read the article in the Tennesseean “Groups join lawsuit to protect Nashville drinking water”

Read SELC's press release “Conservation Groups Seek Clean Up of TVA’s Coal Ash Pollution in the Cumberland River”

Read SELC's press releaseConservation Groups File Notice Against Tenn. Valley Authority Over Coal Ash Pollution at Gallatin Plant”