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On December 22, 2008, a breach in a surface impoundment (or storage pond) dike at the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) Kingston Fossil Plant in Tennessee resulted in the release of 5.4 million cubic yards of coal ash--also referred to as coal combustion residue (CCR)--into the nearby Emory River.
Underground storage tanks that leak hazardous substances can contaminate nearby groundwater and soil. Under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), tank owners and operators are primarily responsible for paying to clean up releases from their tanks.
Advances in technology have led to rapidly increasing sales of new electronic devices. With this increase comes the dilemma of managing these products at the end of their useful lives. Some research suggests that the disposal of used electronics could cause a number of environmental problems.
For about 40 years, the Department of Energy's Rocky Flats site, near Denver, served as a production facility that made plutonium triggers, or "pits," for nuclear weapons. That role resulted in radiological and chemical contamination of many of the site's buildings and its soil and water.
Brownfields are properties whose re-use may be hindered by the threat of contamination. Cleaning up and redeveloping these properties can protect human health and the environment, and provide economic benefits.