Walking in Memphis—Just Feet Above a Coal Ash Cesspool

Memphis residents now have another reason to sing the blues. Last week, the nation’s largest public utility, Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), admitted that the groundwater beneath its Allen coal-burning power plant is poisoned with astronomically high amounts of arsenic. Levels of the potent carcinogen measure nearly 400 times the federal limit for drinking water. In addition, lead in the groundwater is more than four times the standard.

Supreme Court Mercury Decision Not a Real Game Changer

In a close 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court of the United States sent the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Mercury Air Toxics Standard (MATS) rule back to a lower court for review. Justice Scalia wrote the majority opinion, which hinged on an interpretation of administrative law requirements and did not overturn EPA’s ability to regulate hazardous air pollutants from power plants.

While the Court did not overturn EPA’s analysis and conclusion that public health benefits of the MATS rule vastly outweigh the costs to the coal and oil industry, it did find that EPA should have first considered whether it was appropriate to regulate power plants under the Clean Air Act’s hazardous air pollution safeguards.

Thirteen More Coal Ash Disasters Waiting to Happen

Four days after the Southeast’s most recent coal ash disaster began, Duke Energy has yet to stop coal ash flowing into the Dan River. The impoundment failure is now the nation’s 3rd worst coal ash disaster and 13 additional Duke Energy power plants lurk across the state with old ash impoundments, already cited in lawsuits as [...]

Dan River Coal Ash Disaster Near Eden, North Carolina

Since the 2008 Kingston coal ash disaster we have often asked “when and where will it happen again”?  On Monday, February 3, 2014 we got an unfortunate answer when a stormwater pipe (that Duke apparently didn’t know was there) burst beneath a coal ash impoundment at Duke Energy’s retired Dan River Power Station near Eden, North Carolina. [...]

EPA Agrees to Deadline for Coal Ash Rule

This week the Environmental Protection Agency agreed to finalize first-ever federal regulation for the disposal of coal ash, by December 19, 2014; settling a lawsuit brought by Earthjustice on behalf of SACE and other environmental and public health groups. While the settlement does not dictate the content of the final regulation, it confirms the agency will [...]

Five years since Kingston: Cane Run, Kentucky still waiting for solutions

Two weeks from now marks the fifth anniversary of the Kingston coal ash spill, one of the worst environmental disasters in American history. In the weeks leading up to the anniversary, we are posting a series of blogs highlighting communities throughout the Southeast impacted by  coal ash and its detrimental effects. The rest of the series can be [...]

What Obama Election Means for Coal, Climate Change, and American Energy Future

This blog, entitled “What Obama’s Re-Election Means for Coal, Climate Change, and America’s Energy Future” was written by Mary Anne Hitt, Director of the Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal Campaign, and originally appeared in Sierra Club’s Compass blog and can be found here. President Obama’s victory yesterday was a victory for clean energy, one that gives us [...]