Social-ecological catastrophe in Tennessee, US

24 12 2008

Democracy Now and The Tenessean have reported a major disaster at a coal-fired power station in Tennessee, US. A dyke that held back a forty-acre retention pond containing toxic coal ash collapsed spilling millions of gallons (enough to fill 558 Olympic-size swimming pools) of sludge across a wetland landscape. The spill has engulfed hundreds of acres in upto four feet of sludge, surrounding twelve households. The Emory river has also been heavily polluted. The coal ash itself contains neurotoxic and carcinogenic heavy metals (arsenic, mercury, lead, cadmium and chromium) that will likely effect species and human health in the region for years. The US corporate media is ignoring the incident.

Update: The New York Times has a graphic of the affected area.

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