Finally a positive ruling for those adversely affected by coal power plants. Today a federal judge ruled that the Tennessee Valley Authority is liable for a huge spill of toxin-laden sludge in 2008 in Tennessee when containment dike at TVA’s Kingston Fossil Plant burst. About 5 million cubic yards of ash spilled out of a storage pond, into a river and spoiled hundreds of acres in a riverside community 35 miles west of Knoxville.
U.S. District Court Judge Thomas Varlan found TVA was negligent in its conduct and will be liable for damages to be determined later. Ratepayers have had to pay for the spill in the form of higher power costs as the $1.2 billion cleanup of the spill, the Environmental Protection Agency described as one of the worst environmental disasters of its kind, continues. After damages are awarded it is likely that TVA will pass those costs along to their customers.
And rest assured, the nearly $11 million TVA paid for outside legal help plus the work done by in-house lawyers, for which TVA is saying they can’t provide a total, will also be passed along to ratepayers.
Lesson learned here, if your energy generator messes up, you get to pay for it.