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Breaking It Down: The TVA Coal Ash Project

January 12, 2022 @ 10:00 am - 11:00 am

The Tennessee Valley Authority received the final regulatory approval it needs to remove tons of coal ash from ponds in Southwest Memphis and transport them along Shelby Drive to a landfill in Southeast Memphis. Learn from Founder of Memphis Community Against Pollution (MCAP) Justin J. Pearson as he breaks the silence on this lethal plan moderated by Jeremy Pierre from Fox 13 Memphis

What is the TVA Coal Ash Project?

In late 2021, The Tennessee Valley Authority received the final regulatory approval from the TN Department of Environment and Conservation it needed to remove tons of coal ash from ponds in Southwest Memphis and transport them along Shelby Drive to a landfill in Southeast Memphis. The approval of TVA’s remediation plan is the final regulatory barrier to coal ash removal. The work will be conducted by Republic Services, a contractor hired by TVA. Republic will take the ash by truck to the South Shelby landfill, which it owns. The plan is bury the ash in lined pits to prevent leaching into the ground putting approximately 72,000 Memphis residents in significant danger. The years-long removal process and the transportation route through predominantly Black neighborhoods could prove to be another flashpoint in Memphis’ burgeoning environmental justice movement, one that helped stop the proposed Byhalia Connection Pipeline in 2021. [Source]

The cleaning process will take years, so initially city and county officials agreed to give TVA authority over the procedure, but during summer 2021, council members were shocked to learn that TVA’s final decision involved relocating the coal ash to Southeast Memphis. TVA is cited as making no efforts to create an open and transparent process and only informed the public after a final decision had been made. [Source]

Here is How Coal Ash Negatively Impacts Communities

  • Since routine groundwater monitoring found elevated levels of arsenic in ponds situated over the Memphis Sand Aquifer, TVA officials have been under pressure to remove coal ash stored from the nearby Allen Fossil Plant in order to reach the bottom closest to a shallow barrier protecting the aquifer.  If not done effectively, the toxins could leak into the aquifer, poisoning Shelby County’s natural source of drinking water.
  • Breathing in high levels of arsenic can cause a sore throat and irritated lungs. Swallowing high levels of arsenic can cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, muscle weakness and cramping, skin rashes, and other problems. Exposure to high enough amounts of arsenic can be fatal. [Source]
  • Exposure to lower levels of arsenic over longer periods of time can cause skin changes, liver and kidney damage, and a shortage of red and white blood cells, which can lead to fatigue and an increased risk of infections.

Sign the Petition Urging TVA to supplement its NEPA analysis regarding environmental justice related impacts and alternatives associated with the selection of the South Shelby Landfill in Memphis, Tennessee for disposal of toxic coal ash.

DOWNLOAD THE FORMAL COMMUNITY STATEMENT

Details

Date:
January 12, 2022
Time:
10:00 am - 11:00 am
Website:
https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_EgNO7XzIRneGN0GW-thKAg

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