Federal utility, environmental groups close pollution trial

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – The Tennessee Valley Authority has finished a trial in which environmental groups accuse the utility’s power plant outside Nashville, Tennessee, of illegally polluting the Cumberland River with coal ash.

TVA and environmental attorneys wrapped the trial Thursday in Nashville federal court. Judge Waverly Crenshaw indicated a decision could be months away.

The Tennessee Clean Water Network and the Tennessee Scenic Rivers Association claim ash ponds from TVA’s Gallatin coal-fired power plant are seeping pollution into the Cumberland River, violating the Clean Water Act and permits.

TVA, a federal utility serving seven southeastern states, says it has followed permits and the law, and environmental groups haven’t proven otherwise.

TVA says decades of data show no effect on drinking water sources.

Crenshaw told the environmental groups to cite more specific evidence in later filings.