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02/23/2009 11:35 AM     print story email story  

TVA Sued Over Coal Ash Accident News

New York personal injury law firm Weitz & Luxenberg PC filed a lawsuit against the Tennessee Valley Authority (NYSE: TVE) for the Dec. 22 coal ash spill in Roane County, Tennessee.

The suit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee on behalf of 109 citizens in Roane County and the surrounding area. It claims the TVA had ongoing problems with containing its waste at the Kingston plant, dating back to 1984.

The suit claims the company should be responsible for the toxic materials contained in the coal sludge, including arsenic, barium, cadmium, chromium, copper, lead, mercury, nickel, selenium and thallium, which are hazardous to human health.

The firm, which is represented by famed spokeswoman Erin Brockovich, joined lawyers from May and Ryan PLC in Nashville, Tenn., in the lawsuit.

The failure of a dike at a 98-acre retention pond at the Kingston Fossil Plant near Kingston, Tenn., released more than 1 million gallons of sludge containing some 5.4 million cubic yards of coal ash across roughy 300 acres and into the Emory River.

The TVA estimates it will cost between $535 million and $825 million to clean up the spill, which doesn´t include litigation, regulatory action or long-term remediation.

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