Talk Talk Talk Talk Talk Myself to Death: Undercovered Environmental Disaster

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Undercovered Environmental Disaster

I've been holidaying with family in Kentucky, and Internet service has been spotty. I started writing this on a normal laptop, but the ISP deserted us about halfway through, so I'm now retyping on my Blackberry. My apologies for typos and the like.

As someone who has family living in Middle Tennessee (and more driving into the area today and tomorrow), I'm vaguely concerned about the coal ash spill in Eastern Tennessee. The spill occurred on Monday when a dam on the ash holding pond that contained waste from the Kingston Fossil Plant gave way. Even though I've just been one state north in Kentucky, I didn't hear anything about it until I was browsing blogs on Christmas Day. Early reports said that the spill contained 1.7 million cubic yards of sludge, from 2.6 million stored in the pond, but there didn't seem to be many details. More recent reports (such as that New York Times story I linked to above) reveal that the spill actually contained 5.4 cubic yards--twice as much as officials even thought was in the pond. The Times is calling it "the largest environmental disaster of its kind in the United States." What kind of conditional language is that? Hilzoy at Washington Monthly tells us that it's already larger than the Exxon Valdez spill.

Is the toxic waste moving? It's hard to tell from the news reports. As of this writing, the New York Times had nothing more current than this link from Friday. There's nothing much from Saturday that I could find anywhere, and by this time the Sunday papers should be on line. Has this disappeared from the Sunday papers? I know there's a holiday weekend, and all, but this is ridiculous!


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