Coal waste damage listed

Mar 4, 2010 | Posted by: Top Mod 5 | Full story: www.waterworld.com

Two national environmental groups say they have documented 31 coal ash waste sites where coal wastes may have damaged the environment. 14 states listed in the report are in Tennessee -- the coal ash waste site of TVA's John Sevier Fossil Plant in Rogersville, Tenn., near Morristown, and a TVA-owned coal combustion waste landfill called Trans-Ash Inc., in Camden, Tenn.

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Since: Jun 08

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#1
Mar 4, 2010
 
"14 states listed in the report are in Tennessee -- the coal ash waste site of TVA's John Sevier Fossil Plant in Rogersville, Tenn..."
alrightythen

Squaw Lake, MN

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#2
Mar 4, 2010
 

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True that. Still safer that nuclear power.
Critical Analyst

Kingsport, TN

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#3
Mar 4, 2010
 

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If you read the report, you see that they are reporting on the test results from a monitoring well that is between the ash pits and the river. It is there to monitor how much leaches out of the ash pits.

They then compare those levels to that for safe drinking water.

The problem is that the levels found are not unexpected, they are actually pretty good being right next to the ash pit. No one drinks from that well, it is for monitoring. If you were to test other wells in the area that were not a few feet from the ash pit you get completely different results, well within limits.
alrightythen

Squaw Lake, MN

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#4
Mar 4, 2010
 
Critical Analyst wrote:
If you read the report, you see that they are reporting on the test results from a monitoring well that is between the ash pits and the river. It is there to monitor how much leaches out of the ash pits.
They then compare those levels to that for safe drinking water.
The problem is that the levels found are not unexpected, they are actually pretty good being right next to the ash pit. No one drinks from that well, it is for monitoring. If you were to test other wells in the area that were not a few feet from the ash pit you get completely different results, well within limits.
So does that mean the fish are safe to eat?
Critical Analyst

Kingsport, TN

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#5
Mar 4, 2010
 

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The issue with fish in the Holston pertains to the Holston's high mercury content, which gets higher as you head upriver towards Kingsport. In the past, the Holston had the highest mercury content of any waterway in the United States. The mercury came from the chlorine-alkali plant in Saltville, Virginia which was shut down some years ago. Mercury is a heavy metal and does not dissolve in water, it just sits in the mud, and gradually is absorbed by river life, in particular asian clams and turtles.

There are no issues with contaminants from the Sevier plant getting into the river. We can double check this by looking for mutations in frogs, which being amphibians are very sensitive to pollution and are the first to mutate. I have been studying frogs in this area for years and have found mutations to be almost nonexistent. This contrasts severely to aquatic life found along the Mississippi river, where frog mutations are quite common, thanks to the historical prevalence of toxic factories and agricultural pesticides in the waters that feed into the Mississippi.

Frankly I have been surprised not to find mutations given the presence of the Eastman plant, which has frequent spills, but it seems these spills are relatively benign compared to other industrial areas.

“IT'S a Scream!”

Since: Oct 09

Rville

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#6
Mar 8, 2010
 
Critical Analyst wrote:
The issue with fish in the Holston pertains to the Holston's high mercury content, which gets higher as you head upriver towards Kingsport. In the past, the Holston had the highest mercury content of any waterway in the United States. The mercury came from the chlorine-alkali plant in Saltville, Virginia which was shut down some years ago. Mercury is a heavy metal and does not dissolve in water, it just sits in the mud, and gradually is absorbed by river life, in particular asian clams and turtles.
There are no issues with contaminants from the Sevier plant getting into the river. We can double check this by looking for mutations in frogs, which being amphibians are very sensitive to pollution and are the first to mutate. I have been studying frogs in this area for years and have found mutations to be almost nonexistent. This contrasts severely to aquatic life found along the Mississippi river, where frog mutations are quite common, thanks to the historical prevalence of toxic factories and agricultural pesticides in the waters that feed into the Mississippi.
Frankly I have been surprised not to find mutations given the presence of the Eastman plant, which has frequent spills, but it seems these spills are relatively benign compared to other industrial areas.
For the past two seasons my hubby and I have caught fish (cat+sunnies) with some type of blisters on them. Can you possibly give an analysis of this I know it is not a mutation but still It is a bit worrysome. Thank's
Critical Analyst

Kingsport, TN

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#7
Mar 8, 2010
 

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You are right, that is worrisome. If you have the fish, they should be looked at. The office to contact is the TWRA fisheries office for East Tennessee:

Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency Fisheries Offices
East Tennessee
Region IV
3030 Wildlife Way
Morristown, TN 37814
423-587-7037
Fax: 423-587-7057
Toll Free: 1-800-332-0900 (In State only)

Also, here is a list of specific contaminants and known areas to be concerned:

http://www.state.tn.us/twra/fish/contaminants...

“IT'S a Scream!”

Since: Oct 09

Rville

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#9
Mar 10, 2010
 
Thank You for your reply. We usually fish down at the river where the old railroad tressle bridge was. If we catch any more fish like that we will contact TWRAFO for sure.

Since: Feb 10

Rogersville, TN

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#10
Mar 10, 2010
 

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Wow! That's like little Rogersville having better "at your fingertips" information than Google ever did! Thanks Critical Analyst, that was mighty helpful and pertinent.
Really

Jackson, TN

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#11
Aug 1, 2010
 
Here's a recent Article, related to this story. Click on this Link:

http://www.publicintegrity.org/blog/entry/229...
ben n jerry

Paris, TN

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#12
Oct 29, 2010
 

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We are still better off with dealing with coal and coal ash.Have you thought about what or where we could put the nuclear waste that would be safe for anyone?

Since: Sep 10

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#13
May 1, 2011
 
This Article is in The Nashville Tennessean Newspaper, today.

Click on this Link:

http://www.tennessean.com/article/20110501/CO...
Overtaxed

Thorn Hill, TN

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#14
May 1, 2011
 

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ben n jerry wrote:
We are still better off with dealing with coal and coal ash.Have you thought about what or where we could put the nuclear waste that would be safe for anyone?
I agree, at least coal ash is an "evil" we know. We can see it, touch it, and marginally at least, control and limit it's damage. Nuclear waste and radiation..... somewhat different and infinately more scary (to me anyway).
The ONE time in my life when I considered leaving here was when TVA decided to locate a nuclear plant in Hawkins Co.
(There will be a few posters who disagree with my views on here that will now be lobbying TVA to change their mind on that decision !!)(chuckle !)
Raping Eden

AOL

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#15
May 1, 2011
 

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If you want cheap coal get ready for flat, eroding, posioned wastelands. How important are these mountains, especially during tornado season? Are they worth a summer or year's worth of coal? http://www.youtube.com/watch... http://appvoices.org/end-mountaintop-removal/...
Overtaxed

Thorn Hill, TN

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#16
May 1, 2011
 

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Raping Eden wrote:
If you want cheap coal get ready for flat, eroding, posioned wastelands. How important are these mountains, especially during tornado season? Are they worth a summer or year's worth of coal? http://www.youtube.com/watch... http://appvoices.org/end-mountaintop-removal/...
Coal causes environmental damage, just as oil drilling does, and nuclear waste and the threat of a Japanese or Chernobyl style disaster panics EVERYONE. BUT.... we have to get electricity from some source, and unless and until renewables become cost effective, we are going to have tradeoffs and one of them includes strip mining.
You might be willing to return to the days before electricity changed this area, but.....having experienced the days before television and the "joys" of using an outside toilet, I have no desire to return to those "good ole days".
What would you propose instead ?????
camden gravel

Camden, TN

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#17
May 1, 2011
 

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Overtaxed wrote:
<quoted text> Coal causes environmental damage, just as oil drilling does, and nuclear waste and the threat of a Japanese or Chernobyl style disaster panics EVERYONE. BUT.... we have to get electricity from some source, and unless and until renewables become cost effective, we are going to have tradeoffs and one of them includes strip mining.
While I agree there are some problems with using coal, there are none we can't manage properly. Mining coal by strip mining is no more damaging than mining gravel, sand, or other minerals. Sure, there is a scar on the land, but that is only temporary if the land is reclaimed by placing the layers of soil that covered the coal back in place.

The current 'alternative' energy sources have been available for decades and there is a very good reason they have remained as a "Plan B" source are they just can't supply our needs. Windmills and solar are very inefficient and unreliable.

Our government should be removing any hurdles that would keep us from investing in more coal and nuclear power plants.
Down Stream

United States

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#19
May 1, 2011
 

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"Clean Coal", "Safe Nuclear Energy", reckon I will stick with my solar powered clothes dryer, water heater and battery bank.
Overtaxed

Thorn Hill, TN

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#20
May 3, 2011
 
camden gravel wrote:
<quoted text>
The current 'alternative' energy sources have been available for decades and there is a very good reason they have remained as a "Plan B" source are they just can't supply our needs. Windmills and solar are very inefficient and unreliable.
Our government should be removing any hurdles that would keep us from investing in more coal and nuclear power plants.
Plan B, yes, I WONDER if they would remain plan B if our legislators weren't owned by lobbiests from the oil and coal industries.
Wind and solar are unreliable, since the wind doesn't always blow and the sun doesn't always shine, inefficient ???? I doubt that, but please explain !

Coal plants CAN be made more efficient and cleanER, and until renewables can pick up the slack, I believe we need them.

NUCLEAR is another story. IF I HAD MY WAY,(and obviously I do not) I would trade any and all nuclear plants for coal burning ones yesterday.(As far as the government goes, they have a balancing act to navigate if they do their job properly. The government is tasked with planning for the conntry's present and future energy needs, while seeing to it that we leave a country that is fit to live in for future generations. A tall order in the best of times, and in my opinion, a high wire act without a net in others.)

Since: Sep 10

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#21
May 3, 2011
 
I, too, would prefer coal to nuclear. But, I would also want the proper safety standards set & abided by for the mining of Coal & the protection of the Miners & also, for the emmissions from burning coal, so we don't pollute our air & destroy our respiratory Systems.
These standards would not raise the price of coal-burning energy, if the Upper Management would just take alittle salary than their Millions per year & everybody would benefit, including them.

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