News Flash! This might not be quite as bad as it could be, but TVA had made a big deal last week about how they inspected these waste ponds and they were all structurally sound. If this is bad enough, I'll probably join a survey crew on Lake Guntersville on the Tennessee tomorrow.UPDATED 3:20pm: New Information in TVA Spill in Jackson County
January 9, 2009
WHNT NewsChannel 19 is continuing to track down the latest on a breaking news situation surrounding a TVA spill in Jackson County. A waste pond at a coal-burning power plant in northeast Alabama has stopped leaking after some spilled into a nearby creek. It's the second accident at a Tennessee Valley Authority retaining pond in less than a month. TVA spokesman Gil Francis said he didn't know the size of the spill at Widows Creek Fossil Plant on Friday.
TVA officials blamed a leaky pipe. Most of the discharge flowed into another pond but some entered Widows Creek. Francis said the leak isn't toxic. (See Official Press Release Below)
The pond contains gypsum, which is captured in the plant's air pollution control devices and is used in items like wallboard and concrete. The spill, about 30 miles southwest of Chattanooga, Tennessee, follows a December 22 dike burst at a Tennessee plant that dumped 1 billion gallons of toxic coal ash sludge.
(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)TVA FACT SHEET LEAK AT WIDOWS CREEK GYPSUM CONTAINMENT
January 9, 2009
TVA is investigating a leak from the gypsum pond at Widows Creek Fossil Plant in Stevenson, Alabama, that was discovered before 6 a.m. on Friday, January 9. The leak has stopped.
The leak from the gypsum pond flowed into an adjacent settling pond. Some material overflowed into Widows Creek, although most of the leakage remained in the settling pond.
TVA has notified appropriate federal and state authorities. TVA will perform temporary repairs to the pond. Gypsum ponds hold limestone spray from TVA's scrubbers that clean sulfur dioxide (SO2) from coal-plant emissions. Gypsum contains calcium sulfate, which is commonly used in drywall, a commercially sold construction material.