Federal judge orders TVA to dig up, move coal ash at Gallatin pl - WSMV News 4

Federal judge orders TVA to dig up, move coal ash at Gallatin plant

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GALLATIN, TN (WSMV) -

A win in court for local environmental groups.

A federal judge ordered the TVA to dig up coal ash created by the TVA's Gallatin plant, and move it to a landfill with a liner to protect surrounding waters.

The lawsuit was brought by the Tennessee Clean Water Network, and the Tennessee Scenic Rivers Association. They claimed the coal ash ponds are a health hazard and a danger to the public.

The Gallatin plant is next Old Hickory Lake and the Cumberland River.

This is the first federal ruling of its kind.

The Southern Environmental Law Center represented the plaintiffs, and say this was a much needed win.

Attorney Beth Alexander said, "I think this is absolutely a step in the right direction. It's unfortunate that we had to have a trial to hold TVA accountable for the pollution, but we are very pleased with the result. It's the solution we asked the court to order, and it will result in decreases in arsenic contamination and other contaminates going into the river."

A TVA spokesperson says, it's too early to say if TVA will appeal, and that they are reviewing the order to determine its next steps.

The TVA maintains, there are no adverse human health or environmental impacts connected to the coal ash storage at Gallatin.

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