What the Heck? Second Coal Ash Spill, this Time in Alabama


Image: Google Maps. We think this is the Widows Creek power plant where the spill happened, but if anyone from Alabama could confirm, please do so in the comments.
Coal Waste Spill at At Alabama Coal Plant
It wasn't so long ago that we were writing about the big environmental fail (that's the current lingo, I think) in Tennessee where 2.6 million cubic yards of coal ash sludge broke through a dike and covered 400 acres up to six feet deep. Now the Tennessee Valley Authority says "a waste pond at its Widows Creek power plant in northeast Alabama has ruptured."

Read on for more details.From the AP:

TVA spokesman John Moulton says the leak in the pond was discovered at about 6 a.m. at the plant near Stevenson, Ala. He said most of the material flowed into a settling pond at the plant site, but some spilled into Widows Creek.

The federal utility says the leak of what it described as gypsum has stopped and it is repairing the pond. It doesn't have an estimate on much material spilled and the cause of the failure is under investigation.

It's not yet clear how toxic or non-toxic this spill was. With some luck it will have been only gypsum and local ecosystems won't be harmed. But even in that case, this still shows that the waste produced by coal power plants isn't exactly contained in a foolproof way...

Let's hope that the study that claimed that world reserves of coal are actually much smaller than previously thought is right.

Via AP, Huffington Post
More on Coal
Epic Environmental Fail: Landowners sue Tennessee Valley Authority for $165M over Coal Ash Spill
http://www.treehugger.com/files/2008/12/tennessee-coal-ash-slurry-spill-48-times-bigger-than-exxon-valdez-spill.php
World Coal Reserves Could Be Much Smaller than Previously Thought

Tags: Alabama | Clean Coal | United States

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