31 Dec 2008:
The Fallout Continues
From Tennessee Coal Ash Spill
Water samples near last week’s massive spill of coal ash in eastern Tennessee reveal high levels of
Fly ash engulfs a Tennessee home
, and officials are warning residents who use wells or springs to stop drinking the water. The spill occurred on Dec. 22 when a dam broke at the Tennessee Valley Authority’s Kingston power plant, causing an estimated 5.4 million tons of wet ash to burst from the impoundment and cover 300 acres of nearby farms, homes, and waterways. Local officials are concerned that risks to residents could grow when the sludge dries out, and authorities have begun air monitoring and are recommending that children be kept away from affected areas. In recent years, environmental advocates have been urging the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to classify coal-fired power plant ash as hazardous, a move that could lead to tougher restrictions on its storage and disposal.
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Photographer Robert Wintner documents the exquisite beauty and biodiversity of Cuba’s coral reefs, which are largely intact thanks to stifled coastal development in the communist nation. View the gallery.
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The Warriors of Qiugang
, a Yale Environment 360
video, chronicles a Chinese village’s fight against a polluting chemical plant. It was nominated for a 2011 Academy Award for Best Documentary Short.
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A three-part series Tainted Harvest
looks at the soil pollution crisis in China, the threat it poses to the food supply, and the complexity of any cleanup. Read the series.