TVA inspector general: Poor coal ash control and management culture led to huge spill

By Bill Poovey, AP
Monday, September 27, 2010

TVA inspector: Poor management led to Tenn. spill

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. — The Tennessee Valley Authority’s inspector general says poor coal ash control practices and the utility’s management culture led to a huge December 2008 spill on the Emory River in East Tennessee.

The report released Monday describes the spill of sludge laden with selenium, mercury and arsenic as one of the largest environmental disasters in U.S. history.

TVA says the description as one of the largest disasters is not supportable. The inspector general refuses to change it.

TVA is fighting damage lawsuits and has released reports that say there is no harm to public health from the 5.4 million cubic yard spill. The inspector general says the ash contains elements that can be toxic under certain circumstances.

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