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Gone is the big cloud of steam over the Kingston Fossil Plant that had become a symbol of cleaner air over much of the Southeast.
It has been replaced with the nastier, albeit less obvious, emissions from the plant’s twin stacks.
All this is a result of TVA’s leaky gypsum containment pond.
Over the past year, TVA was switching away from the twin towers, which let dangerous emissions into the sky and left a more dangerous byproduct — fly ash. The agency had brought online its new scrubber to remove byproducts of combustion that reduced visibility throughout the Smokies and elsewhere, and added to serious respiratory health problems for people downwind.
So because of less-than-stellar engineering and a resulting leak, Tennessee Department of Environmental Conservation officials have ordered TVA to close the gypsum pond and retrofit it with an artificial liner.
We applaud the state for requiring this action, even if it is after the fact.
In the meantime, we —the TVA ratepayers — pay more.
We pay with dirtier air, more health problems and the higher costs of having to go back and retrofit a liner in a massive containment system.
To call this situation disappointing is an understatement.
What’s next for us, TVA?