State sues TVA over leaky coal ash storage at Gallatin plant

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – The state agency charged with protecting the environment is suing the Tennessee Valley Authority over its coal-burning power plant in Gallatin.

The lawsuit claims unlined storage ponds used to dispose of coal ash there are leaking contaminants into local groundwater. The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation filed the lawsuit on Wednesday.

It asks the Davidson County Chancery Court to issue a permanent injunction that requires TVA to comply with laws governing solid waste and water quality. It also seeks civil penalties of up to $17,000 per day for violations.

TVA said in a statement that it welcomes the state’s assistance in managing its ash disposal. The utility also says it is currently converting all of its coal ash storage from wet to dry.