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Local Group has Big Concerns Over New Coal Ash Plant

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Sitting more than a mile away from the nearest home, you could live in Gallatin for years without ever noticing the TVA Plant.

The facility is nevertheless an important part of Middle Tennessee's Electricity supply.

"Basically we use coal to produce steam which turns turbines and makes electricity." said TVA Spokesperson Scott Brooks.

That process produces a coal ash product that has to be disposed of and for decades the plant used the same wet process that played a role in the massive spill 5 years ago in Kingston where ash burst out of a plant retention pond.

That spill convinced TVA to convert it's plants to a dry storage process.

Brooks says it will be much safer in Gallatin if the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation approves it.

"It's gonna have a much lower moisture content so much less chance of anything close to what happened at Kingston happening at Gallatin," said Brooks.

Still one environmental group has concerns.

"If a new dump is built we need it to have the strongest standards possible," said Sierra Club Spokesperson Lauren Randall.

The Sierra Club is currently pushing for TDEC to force the TVA to follow the highest standards possible in Gallatin.

Randall says it's important because coal ash leaking into water sources can cause health complications.

"It can be doing something that's safer for our communities and doesn't run the risk of polluting our drinking water or having another massive spill," said Randall.

TDEC is hosting a public meeting on the proposal Thursday at 6:30 in the Sumner County Administration Building in Gallatin.

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