Judge Orders TVA to Move Coal Ash at Gallatin Fossil Plant

Aug 4, 2017

Gallatin Fossil Plant
Credit tva.gov

A federal judge is ordering the nation's largest public utility to dig up coal ash at a Tennessee power plant and move it to a lined waste site where it doesn't risk further polluting the Cumberland River. 

U.S. District Judge Waverly Crenshaw in Nashville ruled Friday in favor of two environmental groups, saying coal ash storage at Tennessee Valley Authority's Gallatin Fossil Plant is leaking pollutants into the river and violating the Clean Water Act.

Crenshaw wrote that while coal ash remains there, dangers, uncertainties and conflicts will continue. However, the judge added that there's scant evidence so far of concrete harm beyond mere risk and presence of pollutants.

TVA has said the change would cost roughly $2 billion.

TVA spokesman Scott Brooks says the utility is reviewing the order.