Saturday, January 3, 2009

TVA, EPA, UMD and the BFD

Holy crap. If you haven't heard about this collossal 'clean coal' cock-up, then you've obviously been hot-tubbing in the Bahamas. The crap's spread 25 miles downstream, is going to be a nightmare to clean up and the TVA shows no inclination to get started. Videos of the mess look like Mt. St. Helens aftermath. Ash is so thick in the river you can't paddle through it in a canoe.

The estimates of the amount of sludge have changed from 'billions of gallons' to 'millions of gallons' and now police are patrolling the edge of the river chasing off anyone trying to independently document the extent of the damage. Clearly the only 'damage control' in progress is image-related.

The TVA issued water sample test results the day of the spill but have been noticeably mum since. Environmentalists obtained water samples from the vicinity of the spill and the results are horriffic the EPA has also released theirs. If you think the South is scary now, just wait another generation. The birth defect rates are likely to skyrocket. Oh, and you can scratch fly fishing unless you intend to catch (gag violently) and release. That's assuming there's any fish left in a month... or a year...

(from The Huffington Post)

Chris Irwin, attorney for United Mountain Defense (UMD), a Knoxville-based non-profit that has been at the site since the day of the disaster writes on Jan 2:

"As I type TVA is trying to conduct their press conference - but they are having a small problem: volunteers from United Mountain Defense have handed out the latest [water] test results to all of the press there and are refusing to stop. I just got off the phone with one of our volunteers. He said at first TVA threatened to arrest him if he did not leave. He said he would not--and all the cameras turned on him."

"Gil Francis--TVA's Public relations guy apparently nearly had a heart attack. If UMD can get this data, why can't TVA?"

While some authorities are proposing dredging to remove the ash from the bottom of the Emory River, "dredging will be a nightmare," said Waterkeeper volunteer John Wathen of Alabama.
"Constantly stirring the material will cause continuous turbidity issues. Turbidity, or fine clays is where the toxins are contained. Dredging will keep this material waterborne and in transmittable form to be dealt with for miles.
"Our little piece of heaven; they just ruined it" - Gail Sewell, Harriman, TN
The locals are really pissed off and I suspect the Bush administration's pathetic failure in New Orleans won't be forgotten as the refugees from smashed houses wait for help, boil their water and wonder if the insanely-high (149x normal) arsenic levels will ever be corrected.

"Clean" coal... I don't think anyone will be selling that concept to the folks in Tennessee anytime soon.

For more information: United Mountain Defense.


Kaye Fissinger said...

You've provided excellent reporting and a great service, Doug. The more this disaster is embedded in the Internet, the less successful TVA and EPA will be in covering up this abomination.

ToLo said...

Thank you so much, George W Bush, and all your bu!l$&!t cronies for guarding us from evil oversight and all those nasty EPA people who would have "protected" us from this sort of cock-up. I'm astounded, nauseated, angered ... but not in the least surprised.

GWB, may you rot in the deepest, foulest pit of Hell.

Doogman said...

Thanks Kaye, I just collected this information from the web, it's already pretty well 'burnt in' to the web by them 'durned enviro-terrists'. Note how the estimate of the amount of spilled sludge -went down- after initial reports - the numbers have been corrected and are in the BILLIONS of gallons. The scale is nothing less than a man-made natural disaster. Brought to you by Clean Coal.