Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Cohen: TVA Coal Ash Clean-Up Timeline 'Unacceptable'

Posted By on Tue, Mar 26, 2019 at 5:41 PM

click to enlarge Groundwater discharge from an aquifer test at the Tennessee Valley Authority Allen Combined Cycle Plant in October. - USGS
  • USGS
  • Groundwater discharge from an aquifer test at the Tennessee Valley Authority Allen Combined Cycle Plant in October.

Tennessee Valley Authority's (TVA) clean up of the coal ash at its now-idled Allen Fossil Plant could take up to 20 years and Rep. Steve Cohen told TVA leaders Tuesday that's too long.

TVA said it will close its remaining coal ash pond at the Allen plant. The federal agency is now in the process of deciding just how it will deal with the coal ash that remains at the site. Options include sealing the ash and storing it in place and removing the ash.

Cohen wrote a letter to TVA's "outgoing and incoming presidents and CEOs" on Tuesday after a meeting with the Tennessee congressional delegation. In the letter, Cohen said "they are not treating the cleanup of the coal ash found in the groundwater at the Allen Fossil Plant in Memphis with sufficient urgency."

“While it was my understanding that corrective work will begin this year, I was alarmed to learn at the meeting that cleanup could take as long as 20 years," Cohen said. "TVA’s timeline to address its coal ash – the primary source of pollution at Allen – is unacceptable. The citizens of Memphis and Shelby County deserve nothing less than full commitment in this matter.”

According to a brief news release issued by Memphis City Council chairman Kemp Conrad Tuesday morning, members of the council and leaders with Memphis Light, Gas & Water were in Chattanooga Tuesday to meet with TVA leaders. 

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