News | November 11, 2014

Targeting Tennessee coal ash: SELC takes action at Gallatin

As part of our continuing commitment to clean up the South’s coal ash, SELC has taken action to remedy serious violations at TVA’s Gallatin Fossil Plant on the Cumberland River near Nashville. Gallatin burns more than 12,000 tons of coal each day, and since the 1950s TVA has operated four coal-fired units there. Six coal ash ponds now cover more than 480 total acres, holding an estimated 2.9 billion gallons of coal waste.

According to TVA’s own records, contaminants such as cobalt, boron, beryllium, arsenic, and mercury continue to pollute the groundwater beneath the site, which is surrounded on three sides by water. Illegal seepage from the ponds also flows directly into the Cumberland, an important source of drinking water for residents of Nashville. Complicating matters further is a network of crevices and sinkholes beneath the lagoons, making them vulnerable to leakage. SELC has notified TVA of its intent to sue on behalf of the Tennessee Scenic Rivers Association to ensure a cleanup.