Dirty Energy & Fuel

Published on January 9th, 2009 | by Alex Felsinger


Again? Coal Ash Pond Ruptures in Alabama, Damage Unknown

January 9th, 2009 by

The Tennesee Valley Authority says they have a spill contained near its Widows Creek power plant in northeast Alabama, but that the quantity of ash slurry spilled and damage caused is unknown.


“There’s been some release but we don’t have any information to show it’s from an ash pond,” said James McIndoe, director of water division for the Alabama Department of Environment Management. “We don’t have all the facts.”

The spill, discovered today at 6 AM, comes less than 3 weeks after the toxic ash spill near the Kingston power plant in Tennessee, where 1.1 billion gallons of ash sludge flowed across surrounding properties. That spill is estimated to be 10 times as large as the Exxon Valdez disaster in 1989.

Last week several US Senators expressed their hope that coal ash ponds will face tougher regulations after the Tennessee spill and revelations from environmental groups that around 1,300 entirely unregulated coal waste ponds exist across the country.


The Associated Press is reporting that the spill was from a container holding gypsum, the resulting material from devices attached to coal burning plants to limit their pollution. Gypsum is a nontoxic mineral, but who knows what could be mixed in with the material in storage. Also, the AP reports that there are no nearby homes so any damage is unlikely.

For more information, check out our coverage of the Tennessee spill:

Photo Credit: Carolinenyc on Flickr under Creative Commons license.

Keep up to date with all the most interesting green news on the planet by subscribing to our (free) Planetsave newsletter.

Tags: , , , , , , ,

About the Author

is primarily concerned with animal welfare, wildlife conservation, and environmental justice. As a freelance writer in San Francisco, he leads a deliberately simplistic and thrifty lifestyle, yet still can’t help gawking at the newest green gadgets and zero-emission concept cars.

Back to Top ↑
  • Connect!

  • 5 Ingredients For A Green Life

    Green Living Info
  • Advertisement

  • 7 Ways to Go Solar

    Solar Power Growth
  • 8 Electric Car Benefits

    electric car benefits
  • Advertisement

  • 10 Bicycling Benefits

    Dutch Bicyclist
  • Save $10,000/Year Riding Transit

    transit savings
  • Advertisement

  • Electric Cars List (US & Europe)

    Solar Power Growth
  • Top Posts On Planetsave

  • Free News from Planetsave!

  • Tell us Your Sustainability Story!

  • Go Solar

    Want to save the planet? Want to live green? Want to save some serious cash money? Go solar! The cost of solar panels today is at a serious low. Go and get a solar quote and home solar report for your home... and then help save the planet!
  • Search the IM Network