H/T PZ at Pharyngula. Since the news media is not reporting this, spread the word. This is a major environmental disaster. Coal ash, along with containing mercury, arsenic, and sulfur, also contains many heavy metals and is also radioactive.
In another blow to the myth of “clean coal”, a huge flood of coal ash flooded residents and polluted miles of TN rivers on Sunday evening around 11:00 PM. The coal ash what is left over from the burning of coal in a power plant. This ash is stored in ponds at a Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) power plant in Harriman TN, just outside of Kingsport.
As clean air standards have required coal power plants to capture more of the pollutants that are normally emitted from a coal power plant by the use of smoke-stack scubbers, the waste product from this process, the ash, has become more and more toxic. Some of the pollutants contained in coal ash are mercury, arsenic and sulfur.
TVA’s Kilgore said that chemicals in the ash are of concern, but that the situation is probably safe. The power plant is still operating, sending the ash to a larger pond on the site.
It appears that when the earthen damn that holds the lake of coal ash broke it sent millions of gallons of coal ash into the Emory River that then flows into the Clinch River and eventually becomes the drinking source for Chattanooga TN. Aerial video and pictures show houses covered in the coal ash waste and enormous fish kills. These images look very similar to the Martin County coal sludge flood in 2000 that release 300 million gallons of coal slurry that flooded residents in Martin County.