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GROUPS APPEALING TVA’S GALLATIN FOSSIL PLANT CLEANUP ORDER

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Problems with the storage of coal ash waste continue throughout the United States. Eighteen states, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other groups are urging an appeals court to overturn a coal ash cleanup order at a federal utility’s Tennessee plant. The order was issued last year at the Tennessee Valley Authority’s Gallatin Fossil Plant. WTVF says Briefs filed by the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals argues the decision at the plant expands federal oversight and could require ash cleanups elsewhere, costing ratepayers tens of billions of dollars. Another brief filed by the National Mining Association and others says the decision upends federal rules addressing groundwater contamination at coal ash impoundments. A third Chamber-led brief says permitting costs could increase by billions of dollars nationwide. In August, a judge ordered Gallatin’s ash excavated and removed. Some of the reasons cited for the cleanup included a violation of the Clean Water Act where pollutants were found to be leaking into the Cumberland River. However there was slight evidence of harm from the leakage. Ash storage has been a chief concern with environmentalists since the coal ash spill at the Kingston Fossil Plant in Roane County devastated the area with such contaminants in Dec. 2008.

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