Here's what happened on Monday 12/22, very succinctly described by BlogHer's Kim Pearson:
Early Monday morning, a dam containing tons of coal ash burst in Harriman, Tennessee, burying an estimated 400-acre area in a 6-foot pile of toxic sludge. The dam belonged to the Kingston Fossil plant operated by the Tennessee Valley Authority. It produced fly ash, a byproduct of coal burning that contains troubling levels of lead, mercury and other heavy metals. That's in addition to being "100 times more radioactive than nuclear waste" according to Scientific American magazine and Dr. Steven Chu -- the man that Pres. Elect Barack Obama has tapped to run his Department of Energy.