Memphis residents now have another reason to sing the blues. Last week, the nation’s largest public utility, Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), admitted that the groundwater beneath its Allen coal-burning power plant is poisoned with astronomically high amounts of arsenic. Levels of the potent carcinogen measure nearly 400 times the federal limit for drinking water. In addition, lead in the groundwater is more than four times the standard.
The pollution is so serious that U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen recently sent a letter to the Tennessee Valley Authority asking why it believes toxins found under the TVA’s Allen Fossil Plant in Memphis are not affecting drinking water. The city’s water supply, serving 900,000 people, is only two miles from TVA’s leaking coal ash ponds. Filled with the toxic byproduct from burning coal, these ponds are the source of the hazardous mess. And the monitoring wells are only about a half-mile from deeper wells drilled by the TVA directly into the Memphis Sand aquifer. One monitoring well beneath the […]