Group Calls On TVA To Cover Spill Victims' Medical Costs

02/13/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

That massive spill at the Tennessee Valley Authority's (TVA) Kingston Fossil Plant, which flooded over 400 acres with 1 billion gallons of toxic coal ash sludge, has local residents coping not just with disrupted lives and damaged property but also with concerns about their health. The coal ash covering the community is laden with pollutants such as arsenic (a carcinogen) and heavy metals. Local residents are greatly concerned about the health of their families, but many cannot afford the medical tests necessary to find out if they have been exposed to toxics in the coal ash.

It seems obvious that TVA should cover all costs so that the victims of this disaster can get independent, third-party medical testing and health services free of charge. Alas, TVA hasn't offered to do this -- and our contacts on the scene are saddened but not surprised by this.

We encourage everyone to tell TVA to do the righ thing. Either email CEO Tom Kilgore ( or send him a letter c/o Tennessee Valley Authority, 400 W. Summit Hill Dr., Knoxville, TN 37902-1499. Here is a sample message: