UPDATE: Not Exactly “Clean” Coal- Second TVA spill reported in Alabama

You don’t have to search hard these days to find the examples of why coal is dirty. Friday morning Tennessee Valley Authority began investigating a leak from a gypsum pond at its Widows Creek coal-burning power plant in northeastern Alabama.

The Widows Creek Fossil Plant is located on Guntersville Reservoir on the Tennessee River. It has eight coal-fired units and was completed in 1965. The plant consumes about 10,000 tons of coal a day.

According to a report in the Tennessean the leak has been stopped. “Some materials flowed into Widows Creek, although most of the leakage remained in the settling pond,” said John Moulton, TVA.

This news comes after yesterday’s Senate Environment and Public Works committee hearing at which, TVA President and CEO Tom Kilgore admitted that the plant had earlier leak problems. The committee promised close scrutiny of the disaster and the potential for future federal environmental regulations as a result.

In 2000 the EPA decided against designating ash as hazardous. However last year they EPA identified 67 coal ash storage sites in 23 states that had caused or were suspected of causing contamination. Sen. Barbara Boxer said she plans to press Lisa Jackson, nominee to head EPA, on this issue during the confirmation hearing next week. For statements from the hearing visit the committee website.

Investigation began Friday at the Widows Creek Coal burning power plant in northeastern Alabama as a gypsum pond was repored leaking.