Sunday, January 25, 2009
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
Lake Ontario Waterkeeper's weekly radio show, Living at the Barricades, recently produced an episode on the coal ash spill along the
Emory Riverin . The show features an interview with Hurricane Creekkeeper John Wathen. Tennessee
The show can be found here http://www.waterkeeper.ca/2009/01/14/ashole-the-tennessee-valley-coal-ash-spill-jan-13-2008/
Monday, January 19, 2009
From the Baltimore Sun
Same old (toxic) story
Our view: Latest coal ash disaster underscores the need for federal intervention; state regulations such as Maryland's can't solve the problem alone
- January 15, 2009
If the experience in Gambrills, where wells serving more than 80 homes were found to be contaminated by chemicals leaching from a coal ash dump, weren't enough to demonstrate the need to regulate these growing environmental hazards, the recent problems of theTennessee Valley Authority have surely sealed the deal.
Last month, about 5.4 million cubic yards of coal plant sludge escaped a containment pond and spread across 300 acres near the Kingston Fossil Plant in East Tennessee. As was the case in Maryland, drinking water supplies were poisoned with lead, arsenic, chromium and other highly toxic substances.
Admittedly, the scale of the two events is not the same. The cost to clean up the Tennessee spill is expected to reach hundreds of millions of dollars, which will dwarf the $45 million Constellation Energy Group has agreed to spend to make things right in Anne Arundel County.
Here, the money is being used not only to contain the mess but to connect homes to public water and pay for any health problems or property losses stemming from the ash dump. The Maryland Department of the Environment has chosen to adopt new standards for landfills that handle coal ash - although the fledgling program is woefully underfunded.
But the two incidents in Maryland and Tennessee are hardly isolated events. Environmental groups estimate that there are more than 1,300 coal ash disposal sites in the country. A high percentage are in facilities such as a pond or former gravel pit with no lining to prevent groundwater contamination.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has studied the problem and concluded - well, not much. The agency has found ample evidence of pollution, but when it comes to devising regulations to protect human health? So far, nothing.
It's not easily solved. Society can't just wish away the millions of tons of waste produced each year by coal-fired power plants. Some forms of coal ash can be recycled into building materials, but that's not a complete solution. Landfills and waste ponds continue to be used as industrial dumps, and the public water supply deserves to be protected now.
States like Maryland can adopt their own forms of regulation, but that's not going to solve a national problem and might even make it worse if mountains of ash end up getting shipped to states with lax environmental standards. The EPA must take this on before another dam breaks or waste dump floods and more communities are put at risk.
Sunday, January 18, 2009
Saturday, January 17, 2009
For those who want a birds eye view of the Kingston Disaster go to Wansoo has generously offered to set up such a page at any disaster we face in the future using this as a template.You can even go in for a "Birds Eye View" from Google from before the disaster.With this we can update the maps instantly then send out links for anyone in the world to follow with a simple click.Check out the blog that comes with it.Dr Wansoo Im and I have created a model mapping page to cover the disaster and update with video, photos, and data.
**Please forward far and wide on all press list, myspaces, facebooks and list servs**.
TENNESSEE DAY OF ACTION AGAINST COAL
chosen for "watershed moment"
Monday, January 19th, community organizers in Knoxville, Nashville, and Chattanooga, Tenn., are holding public demonstrations against TVA. All three protests will begin simultaneously at noon.
The Chattanooga demonstration will begin at noon outside the TVA offices on 1101 Market Street. The Knoxville noon protest will be held in Market Square, outside TVA's corporate headquarters. The Nashville protest will take place as part of the city's historic MLK-Day parade.
Protestors are critical of TVA's three disasters in three weeks across the Tennessee River watershed. "Three disasters in three weeks isn't an isolated incident. This is system-failure," Knoxville student Chris Martin said. "[TVA is] the largest purchaser of coal in North America, and one of the largest state providers of carbon-based energy on the globe," Martin said. "If they don't start to budge on coal, clean energy is going nowhere."
TVA currently maintains 18 coal plants and over 50 industrial waste sites in the Tennessee watershed region, the network of waterways surrounding the The in Roane County, the in Polk County, and Widows Creek in Jackson County, Ala., have all met with disaster in recent weeks..
Environmental justice and stewardship groups argue that the contamination includes hazardous materials, with independent water-testing to back up their claims. Local governments and medical authorities have begun organizing evacuations of contaminated neighborhoods near Harriman, in East Tennessee. Federal agencies continue to deny any risk of toxics.
"We chose to include this in the state capitol's MLK parade so people will never let this happen again," said Nashville community-organizer Anna Graves. "This is our water, our air that we're talking about here."
"We're here to dramatize the destruction of our community," Katuah Earth First! member Amanda Cagle said in Chattanooga. "They're destroying our mountains, our streams, our neighborhoods. Coal kills, from the cradle to the grave."
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
Monday, January 12, 2009
I am new to the blogging thing so it might be a little rocky to begin with.