TVA Spin Doctors Accidentally Release Wrong Memo, Admit to Tox…

What began as a monumental public relations blunder became a wonderful and informative lesson on spinning environmental catastrophes when TVA accidentally released a draft of its ash slide talking points–replete with edits–to the Associated Press.

The document is dated the day after the slide, that whimsical period when the stuff in the fly ash was “inert,” the amount TVA reported released was half of what it actually was, the toxins (scratch that) contaminants were only present in minute concentrations, and up was actually down.

It is truly a stunning example of flacks spewing irresponsible bullshit to downplay the severity of the spill and the very real health risks. Here are a few lowlights:

“Because toxic metals contaminants were present in minute quantities, prompting TVA to promptly initiated water sampling to determine the level of these of these chemicals in the water assess in adverse impact from the ash slide.

The sudden, accidental Catastrophic release of this large amount of material resulted in did cause cloudiness…

TVA sampled the water downstream of the ash slide areas pond indicates that the concentration of toxic metals were below established levels established by the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation representing an acute threat to protect fish and aquatic life from acute effects. One of the 11 sample stations showed an elevated level of zinc. [Does this mean zinc was above TDEC levels? If so, it confuses the message here and this needs to be re-worded]

All samples for Mercury was not indicated not detected at any of the below detectable levels at all sample locations. [Mercury does show on the report from the lab. We assume the less than metric reported means below detectable levels but be prepared to explain this because it is likely that TVA will end up releasing this report]

Yeah, that TVA, always looking out for your best interests.

This is an amazing story from the local weekly paper about the coal ash spill in east Tennessee

NP NowPublic

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