"Coal Ash Taints Groundwater At TVA Sites, Report Finds"

"A new report says groundwater contamination from coal ash has been found at Gallatin and eight of the nine other Tennessee Valley Authority fossil power plant sites where testing is being done.

Levels of toxic substances found at the Gallatin plant site in Sumner County and at the Cumberland site, 50 miles northwest of Nashville, are high enough that they could create a health hazard, the report says. Beryllium, cadmium and nickel levels are above drinking water standards at Gallatin, as are arsenic, selenium and vanadium at Cumberland.

One major surprise also showed up in the review by TVA’s Office of Inspector General: For more than a decade, the TVA had been finding substances in groundwater at its Allen coal-fired plant in Memphis that indicated toxic metals could be leaking from a coal ash pond there.

Arsenic above today’s allowable levels was found repeatedly in a monitoring well on the site, which is in a sensitive location. The plant and its ash ponds lie above a deep, high-quality aquifer that supplies drinking water to Memphis and nearby areas."

Anne Paine reports for the Nashville Tennessean July 25, 2011.

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Source: Nashville Tennessean, 07/26/2011