$27.8 Million Settlement Finalized In TVA Coal Ash Spill

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

U.S. District Judge Thomas Varlan has approved a settlement agreement in which the Tennessee Valley Authority (“TVA”) has agreed to pay $27.8 million to victims of a massive coal ash spill that decimated the area around the TVA Kingston Fossil Plant in December 2008. This settlement comes on the heels of a 2012 ruling by Judge Varlan that TVA was liable for the spill, which occurred when a dike burst at a coal ash containment pond. The resulting deluge of more than a billion gallons of toxic sludge knocked homes from their foundations and contaminated the Emory and Clinch rivers. Beasley Allen lawyers Rhon Jones, who heads up the firm’s Toxic Torts section, and Grant Cofer are representing the Plaintiffs. 

“This settlement represents the culmination of more than five years of litigation and negotiations,” says Mr. Jones, “and through this agreement, those who deserve it can receive compensation from TVA. This is important for every property owner impacted by this terrible tragedy.” 

The final settlement agreement will allow more than 800 residents and property owners affected by the coal ash spill to hold TVA accountable for the impact to their way of life. Cleanup efforts continue even years after the spill, with total costs expected to exceed $1.2 billion. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has described the spill as one of the worst environmental disasters of its kind. The TVA coal ash spill released more than a billion gallons of toxic sludge over 300 acres in East Tennessee within the course of minutes. It is estimated there is at least 500,000 cubic yards of coal ash still remaining on the bottoms of the Emory and Clinch rivers. Sludge from the coal ash containment pond contains toxic substances including arsenic, lead, mercury and other heavy metals.

Northwest Georgia’s Unemployment Rate Unchanged At 5.6 Percent In October

The Georgia Department of Labor announced on Thursday that the unemployment rate in the Northwest Georgia region in October was 5.6 percent, unchanged from September. The rate in October 2014 was 6.8 percent. While the rate was unchanged, the number of initial claims for unemployment insurance rose by 741, or 29.1 percent, to 3,291 in October. Most of the increase was due ... (click for more)

October 2015 County Unemployment Rates

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Fire Breaks Out At McKee Bakery Plant 2; Damages Listed At $15,000; Propane Tanks Were Near Blaze

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Woman Shot Saturday Night Near O'Rear Street

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Lung Cancer, The Deadliest Cancer In The United States

This time of year, I remember to give thanks for my faith, my family and friends and my health. Recently, I learned that lung cancer is the deadliest form of cancer in the United States; in fact, more Americans die each year from lung cancer than any other type of cancer. One in 13 men and one in 16 women will develop the disease in their lifetime. It’s important to learn about ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Trouble With Chicago

On “Black Friday” night, I saw television footage of what was said to be about 2,000 people marching in protest in Chicago. The very vocal mob descended on the toniest street – Michigan Avenue – to spew its rage over a police officer who shot and killed a 17-year-old, this over a year ago in October of 2014. The just-released tapes of the incident embroiled the blacks who insist ... (click for more)