SACE Calls for Ash Sampling Results Immediately

Guest Blog | December 28, 2008 | Press Releases

Knoxville, Tenn. (Sunday, December 28) – As the ash spill nears its one-week anniversary, Southern Alliance for Clean Energy is urging TVA to release coal ash sampling data taken from the site immediately.

“It is unacceptable that we are six days into this disaster and TVA has yet to release sampling data from the ash pile. We are calling for TVA to release the ash sampling data before this afternoon’s meeting scheduled for citizens in Kingston, Tenn.,” said Dr. Stephen A. Smith, executive director for the alliance.

To date, TVA has only released water samples, leaving ash pile test results to be provided to the public. “The best way to understand what has been released to the environment is to go back to the source and communicate what is in the remaining ash pile,” said Dr. Smith.

Notably, the ash pile includes decades-old ash from many different coal types that have been burned at the Kingston coal plant, and it is expected that the toxic heavy metals will not be uniform throughout the ash pile. There will possibly be “hot spots” of heavy metals concentration. Also, the way in which the heavy metals were deposited once released will impact the concentrations of these metals. The inconsistent content levels will require robust sampling of the ash.

“We are pleased to see that TVA has issued an ash warning factsheet that can help ensure the safety of citizens in the area,” said Dr. Smith.

SACE urges citizens to consult a heavy metal fact sheet and additional information found at to learn more about the potential consequences of this disaster.