In a Dec. 22, 2008 photograph, a home is engulfed near the TVA Kingston Fossil Plant in Roane County after the failure of a dike that unleashed more than 5.4 million cubic yards of coal ash sludge. Photo by J. Miles Cary/News Sentinel
KINGSTON, TN (News Sentinel) -
A $10 million lawsuit filed in Roane County Circuit Court claims a worker contracted leukemia due to his job cleaning up the 2008 coal ash spill.
The lawsuit comes six years after the spill and barely a week after the federal government put in place the first-ever federal standards for the storage of ash from coal-fired power plants, regulating the waste as household garbage instead of as a hazardous material.
Coal ash is a waste product created from burning coal to make electricity. It contains mercury, cadmium, arsenic and other heavy metals that can cause cancer and other illnesses.
The Dec. 22, 2008, spill at the TVA's Kingston Fossil Plant in Roane County was triggered by a storage pond that ruptured, setting loose a cascade of 5.4 million cubic yards of coal-ash slurry that polluted the Emory River, damaged nearby homes and property, and forced a cleanup that cost more than $1 billion. The accident galvanized environmentalists and led to demands the federal government regulate coal ash.