Stop the Unsafe Cover Up of Coal Ash

Target: Tennessee Valley Authority Board of Directors

Goal: Stop the disastrous plan to cover up millions of tons of coal ash in unlined pits that are in danger of leaking into local drinking water.

The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) has proposed to simply cover millions of tons of coal ash in unlined pits that are in danger of leaking in or near rivers in Tennessee, Alabama, and Kentucky. Coal ash is a dangerous waste produced by coal plants that has severely coated the Tennessee Valley area after decades of coal production. The Tennessee Valley Authority’s own monitoring system shows that the groundwater adjacent to its sites contain toxic metals from coal ash, posing great health risks to residents, animals and the local environment.

Many of these contaminated sites are dangerously close to local drinking water sources, placing the safety of the Tennessee Valley’s drinking water at serious risk. The proposed plan by TVA is to drain contaminated ponds and cover them in unlined and leaking pits. This is gross negligence on their part and the harmful toxins left by coal ash will only continue to seep into the ground and local water sources. This coal ash must be removed into dry, lined storage containers–any other course of action is a terrible example of cost cutting at the expense of public health.

The TVA claims they are pushing to comply with the new federal Coal Ash Rule, yet this is an obvious excuse to cut corners. Nothing in the Coal Ash Rule specifies a rushed timeline for closing the toxic ponds, especially not when doing so puts the Tennessee Valley at such risk. The residents of the Tennessee Valley deserve clean and safe drinking water free from toxic metals by coal ash contamination. Sign our petition to demand that the TVA cleans up its mess the right way.


Dear Tennessee Valley Authority Board of Directors,

Your proposed plan to “cover up” millions of tons of coal ash in unlined, leaking pits in or around local rivers is an outrageous attempt to shortcut the proper cleanup needed after your total disregard for environmental safety regulations. Your own data monitoring systems show that the groundwater near your sites is contaminated with toxic chemicals from coal ash.

The TVA must take responsibility for this and create a plan that will truly attempt to alleviate the massive damage you have caused the residents and local ecosystem. To “cover up” the coal ash only creates more serious problems, as you will endanger the rivers and drinking water sources in Tennessee, Alabama, and Kentucky, placing millions at risk.

We urge you to withdraw your current cover up plan and consider the health and safety of the land and the people of the Tennessee Valley which you also call home. You must safely and properly remove the coal ash to dry and lined storage in order to start to undo the damage done.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Mark Fickett

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  1. Beth Nordmeyer says:

    Wow, am I in the United States?

  2. Intellectually speaking this petition should not exist. The Board of Directors should have enough grey matter between their ears!

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