Tennessee’s coal ash sludge brought to Georgia

By RHONDA COOK

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Friday, June 05, 2009

Some coal ash sludge from Tennessee has been shipped to Georgia for storage even as advocacy groups and government regulators consider whether it can be dangerous to people and the environment.

State officials and the Tennessee Valley Authority confirmed Friday a Taylor County landfill stored some of the 5.4 million cubic yards of coal ash sludge that spilled out of its retention pond near Knoxville last December. Three houses were destroyed and two dozen more damaged, 300 acres of land were buried, roads and railroad tracks were covered and sludge flooded into the nearby Emory River.

TVA spokesman Gil Francis said 1,000 tons of sludge was dried before it was loaded into 14 rail tank cars and shipped to Taylor County, east of Columbus. Another load was taken to a landfill in Perry County, Ala., between Tuscalossa and Montgomery.

The Georgia and Alabama sites were chosen to test methods of transporting and disposing of the sludge.

The Georgia Environmental Protection Division was notified of the shipment but has had no role, according to Jeff Cown, manager of EPD’s solid waste program. Cown said the state had not been told if more coal ash from Kingston would be sent to southwest Georgia.

Messages left for several officials with the company that operates the Taylor County landfill, Indiana-based Veolia Environmental Services, were not returned.

NP NowPublic

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