Coal ash has been accumulating for many years at the 440 electricity plants located in the U.S. Coal ash is the material that is left over after coal-fired power plants generate electricity. Ash can be stored wet or dry. The coal ash accumulating for over 50 years at the TVA’s Kingston Fossil Plant covered more than 100 acres and rose to over 65 feet above ground level. The TVA plant used wet storage, and on that fateful day, an earthen dam burst, spilling the ash over 300 acres of land. While such incidents are not common (four similar events have occurred over the past five decades), they are spectacular, costly and certainly controversial.
Legal lookout: EPA responds to coal ash release