Press Release | January 7, 2015

Citizens Groups Support Tennessee State Action Against TVA For Alleged Environmental Violations

Nashville, Tennessee –-Today, three citizens groups announced their support for action taken by the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation and the Tennessee Attorney General against the Tennessee Valley Authority for alleged environmental violations associated with its coal ash ponds at the Gallatin Fossil Plant.

On November 10, 2014, Southern Environmental Law Center, on behalf of Tennessee Clean Water Network and the Tennessee Scenic Rivers Association, sent a notice of intent to sue Tennessee Valley Authority over coal ash contamination of the Cumberland River and surrounding groundwater for decades in violation of the Clean Water Act.  

“We are pleased the State has taken action in response to the notice sent on behalf of these three citizen groups, “ said Anne Davis, Managing Attorney of Southern Environmental Law Center’s Nashville office. “We remain concerned about the serious ongoing environmental problems at TVA’s Gallatin Fossil Plant, including releases of coal ash contaminants to groundwater and to the Cumberland River.”

“The lawsuit filed today appears to address the most serious coal ash problems at the Gallatin ponds. While we appreciate the State taking this action today, ultimately it will be the environmental results that count. We hope and expect that the results achieved through this lawsuit will protect public health and the environment,” added Stephanie Durman Matheny, attorney for the Tennessee Clean Water Network.

“We’re glad that TDEC recognizes that this action is necessary to protect the public interest, and we expect the State to seek strong environmental protections that will adequately protect the water quality of the Cumberland River,” said Daniel Boone of the Tennessee Scenic River Association.


About Southern Environmental Law Center: The Southern Environmental Law Center is a regional nonprofit using the power of the law to protect the health and environment of the Southeast (Virginia, Tennessee, North and South Carolina, Georgia, and Alabama). Founded in 1986, SELC's team of about 60 legal and policy experts represent more than 100 partner groups on issues of climate change and energy, air and water quality, forests, the coast and wetlands, transportation, and land use.

About Tennessee Clean Water Network: Tennessee Clean Water Network is a nonprofit organization created to advocate for strong policies and programs that result in more effective protection and restoration of Tennessee’s waters and to educate organizations, decision-makers and the public about important water resource issues.

About Tennessee Scenic Rivers Association: The Tennessee Scenic Rivers Association (TSRA) is a volunteer organization dedicated to the preservation, protection and restoration of the scenic, free-flowing rivers of our state. Based in Nashville, Tennessee, the organization has approximately 1,000 members across the state and the south.

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