Friday, November 18, 2011

TVA Fossil Plants Report Groundwater Contamination

By: Duane Craig

Tennessee Valley fossil-fuel plants contaminating groundwater

The Tennessee Valley Authority, operator of 21 fossil fueled power plants, three nuclear power plants, 29 hydroelectric dams, 14 solar power generation sites, 18 wind turbines and one methane-assisted fossil fuel power plant, has been told by its own inspector general that eight of nine fossil-fueled plants with groundwater monitoring had contaminants in the groundwater that exceeded federal limits.
The OIG also said the TVA, a wholly-owned but self-funded agency of the U.S. government, was in some cases not performing the monitoring required by its permits.
Two plants named in the OIG's report were placed on the highest severity assessment for exceeding a health based groundwater protection standard. The Cumberland plant, northwest of Nashville, was one of those, and Gallatin was the other. Both plants are on the Cumberland River.
Two other plants, Bull Run and John Sevier were placed on Phase II assessment for a significant increase in contaminants above the background levels. Bull Run is near Oak Ridge, Tennessee and the John Sevier plant is near Rogersville, Tennessee. According to its own account, the John Seveir plant released more than 5,000 pounds of toxins into water there in 2009, including nickel compounds, lead compounds, copper compounds, chromium compounds, barium compounds, arsenic compounds and ammonia. The plant also released 31 million tons of carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxides and sulphur dioxide into the air in 2010.
You can review all the reports of the TVA's OIG here.

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