Claims coal-fired plant polluted river: utility faces trial

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Environmental groups are taking the Tennessee Valley Authority to trial over whether waste ash from its aging coal-fired power plant near Nashville polluted the Cumberland River in violation of the Clean Water Act.

In a bench trial opening Monday in Nashville federal court, the Tennessee Clean Water Network and Tennessee Scenic Rivers Association target the TVA's storage of coal ash, waste from burning coal for energy.

The groups say ash storage ponds at Gallatin Fossil Plant have been illegally fouling the nearby river for years -- and that state regulators haven't properly addressed the problem.

The federal utility, which provides electricity in parts of seven Southern states, says it has followed regulations and decades of data show no impact on water sources.

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