The coal-fired power plant in Gallatin is the central figure in a federal trial in Nashville this week. Environmental groups sued the Tennessee Valley Authority over contamination related to runoff from coal ash being stored in a giant pile on site.
What set off the environmental legal fight is a couple of homeowners with wells that have tested for harmful chemicals found in coal ash waste. But the trial may end up being a battle over whose testing to trust.
TVA spokesman Scott Brooks says the utility is prepared to show its own data and clear up what he calls "misinformation."
"We live there. We drink the water," he says. "We have hundreds of employees at these plants who would have a vested interest in making sure that we're doing things right. So it is an opportunity to present our side and present the information that we've been gathering and collecting."
Attorneys for the Southern Environmental Law Center say the Gallatin ash pond, located on a bend on Old Hickory Lake, is a slow-motion disaster and that "contamination is happening every day."
The federal trial is expected to last all week.
Correction: The original post incorrectly said the trial started Tuesday rather than Monday.