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POWER PLANTS CONTRIBUTE TO TENNESSEE'S TOXIC POLLUTION

According to a new report issued by the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC), the state of Tennessee ranks 15th in the nation for toxic industrial air pollution. 35% of that air pollution comes from the TVA electrical power plants in our state. Tennessee ranks 24th among all states in mercury air pollution. This is also a byproduct of the power plants. Common toxins released that affect air quality include hydrochloric acid, mercury and other metals. Exposure to these pollutants can lead to asthma, other respiratory ailments, developmental disorders, cancer and more. A recent EPA ruling will require more stringent requirements for air quality standards. And another EPA rule is trying to set federal limits on mercury, lead, arsenic and other toxins from coal-fired power plants.

TVA is also in the news this week for allowing potential groundwater contaminates to go unreported at the Allen coal-fired plant in Memphis.  Several of the power plant sites around middle Tennessee are finding toxic substances in the groundwater.  The contaminates of concern include arsenic, beryllium, cadmium, nickel and selenium.  You can find more details here.