SECOND TVA SPILL: Dam Breaks At Alabama Coal Plant

02/09/2009 04:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

AP reports on a second TVA spill:

The Tennessee Valley Authority says a waste pond at its Widows Creek power plant in northeast Alabama has ruptured but the spill is contained.

The spill comes after a major rupture last month in Tennessee, when a dike released nearly a billion gallons of toxic-laden ash.

TVA spokesman John Moulton says the leak in the pond was discovered at about 6 a.m. at the plant near Stevenson, Ala. He said most of the material flowed into a settling pond at the plant site, but some spilled into Widows Creek.

The federal utility says the leak of what it described as gypsum has stopped and it is repairing the pond. It doesn't have an estimate on much material spilled and the cause of the failure is under investigation.

The Tennessean has more details on the second coal plant spill from TVA in less than a month:

Scott Hughes, spokesman for the Alabama Department of Environmental Management said, "The only thing we've got right now is that there was a release from a gypsum treatment operation."

"We do understand that some of the material has reached Widows Creek."
The creek from which TVA's coal burning plant gets its name, crosses the plant property. Gypsum can be sold for use in wallboard, but markets have been slow and it like more standard ash can build up in waste ponds.