This documentary film chronicles the sludge spill on October 11, 2000 in Martin County,
Kentucky when a coal sludge impoundment broke through an underground mine, propelling
306 million gallons of coal slurry down two tributaries of the Tug Fork River. The film
documents the disaster, the resulting federal investigation, and the looming threat of
coal sludge ponds throughout the coalfield region.
This was not an isolated incident. More recently, a December 2008 release of coal ash
at a Tennessee Valley Authority power plant in Kingston Tennessee has created a similar
This film is presented in conjunction with Shepherd University's Appalachian
Heritage Writer in Residence program. The post-film discussion led by Shepherd
University Professor of Environmental Studies Dr. Edward Snyder.
About the director Robert Salyer
Other background on the film.
About the more recent coal sludge spill at Kingston Tennessee.