Law firm accuses TVA of violating Clean Water Act - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Law firm accuses TVA of violating Clean Water Act


An environmental group is making serious allegations about TVA and coal waste contamination in the Shoals.

The Southern Environmental Law Center said TVA is violating the Clean Water Act.

Several environmental groups said the pollutants include arsenic, lead and selenium. They said the pollutants are getting into the main tributary of the Tennessee River in Colbert County.

"Some of these substances are carcinogens, arsenic of course is very poisonous," said Charles Rose.

Rose is the president of the Shoals Environmental Alliance.

He believes TVA has been aware of this problem long before they filed these allegations.

"TVA's own documentation shows that they're aware of these illegal discharges, additionally Tennessee River Keeper has taken water samples and have been tested, and there have been incredibly high levels of iron, lead, arsenic," said Rose.

He said TVA is allowing seepage into groundwater from two different unlined storage ponds. It's a problem he said needs to be stopped.

"This is over one million tons of toxic material in an unlined ash pond, discharges into the creek, and runs into the Tennessee River," he said.

TVA officials have 60 days to respond to the notice.

Rose hopes ADHEM and EPA will also step in.

"TVA does have in their charter they're required to be an environmental steward, and we think TVA should step up and do something about this problem," he said.

The Southern Environmental Law Center said failure to fix the problem will lead to a lawsuit.

TVA officials said they did receive the notification letter, and they're currently reviewing the allegations.

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