Coal ash spill at center of dispute

Dec. 25, 2008 at 2:43 PM
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KINGSTON, Tenn., Dec. 25 (UPI) -- Residents of Kingston, Tenn., say they are concerned about a potentially toxic coal ash spill being debated by environmentalists and officials.

With federal and state officials offering limited information regarding the possible toxicity of the spill caused by a dam break this week, Kingston area residents are becoming increasingly frustrated, The New York Times said Thursday.

"They're giving their apologies, which don't mean very much," waitress Holly Schean said.

"I don't need your apologies. I need information."

"The breathing is what concerns me, the lung issues," teacher Angela Spurgeon said of the spill, left after millions of cubic yards of ash breached a retaining wall Monday.

Meanwhile, Stephen A. Smith, Southern Alliance for Clean Energy executive director, said area residents should be made aware of the potential dangers of the ash based on previous studies.

But a spokesman for the Tennessee Valley Authority maintains the spill from the Kingston Fossil Plant only contains inert materials that likely will not pose any public health risks, the Times said.

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