Drinking Water Intakes are Downstream from Leaking, Unlined Sites TVA Proposes to Cover up Instead of Cleanup

Drinking water supplies for 2.3 million people in Tennessee are downstream from leaking, unlined coal ash sites located on or in rivers that TVA proposes to cover up and let pollute rivers and groundwater indefinitely, according to a map released today by the Southern Environmental Law Center.

 

“It’s past time for TVA to clean up, not cover up, the coal ash that it’s been storing in unlined holes in the ground next to—and sometimes located within—our rivers for decades where it’s been polluting our groundwater and threatening our water supplies,” said Amanda Garcia, staff attorney at the Southern Environmental Law Center. “Families and communities in Tennessee deserve clean water and shouldn’t have to bear the burden of TVA’s continued pollution of their drinking water supplies as TVA proposes. To protect our clean water and communities, TVA needs to move its coal ash to dry, lined storage away from our waterways and out of our groundwater.”

Communities that take drinking water downstream of the six leaking, unlined coal ash sites that TVA proposes to cover up and leave unlined, leaking into groundwater next to rivers include among many others: Knoxville, TN; Oak Ridge, TN; and Chattanooga, TN. Communities in Nashville, TN and Clarksville, TN are downstream of TVA coal ash sites that TVA will be considering covering up in the near future. Downstream communities can be viewed here. The City of Memphis draws its water supply from an underground aquifer. High levels of arsenic and other coal ash indicator pollutants have been found in groundwater under the ash ponds at the nearby Allen Fossil Plant.