Coal Ash Spill Huge Environmental Disaster

Health officials are already calling it the worst environmental disaster of its kind in the United States. And that’s before earlier reports underestimated the scope of the spill and its far-reaching effects.
According to the NY Times, “Authority officials initially said that about 1.7 million cubic yards of wet coal ash had spilled when the earthen retaining wall of an ash pond at Kingston Fossil Plant, about 40 miles west of Knoxville, gave way on Monday. But on Thursday they released the results of an aerial survey that showed the actual amount was 5.4 million cubic yards, or enough to flood more than 3,000 acres one foot deep.
The amount now said to have been spilled is larger than the amount the Authority initially said was in the pond, 2.6 million cubic yards.”
The spillage contains such toxins as lead and thallium, known to cause cause birth defects and nervous and reproductive system disorders. The coal ash spill abuts a residential area and the Emory River. The coal ash spill can contain carcinogens and dangerous levels of heavy metals.
According to the Times article, the environmental spill has reawakened old arguments about whether coal ash should be federally regulated as hazardous material.