The spill of over 1 billion gallons of toxic coal sludge in Eastern Tennessee before Christmas was not only one of the biggest environmental disasters in history -- it also exposed the myth of "clean coal."

From this week's edition of the Institute's Facing South email newsletter. To get a copy delivered to your inbox, sign up in the box in the upper right hand corner or visit here.

Size of the coal ash sludge pond that broke at TVA's Kingston power plant on Dec. 22: 40 acres

Estimated amount of coal ash sludge that spilled from the pond: 1.1 billion gallons

Rank of the incident among U.S. environmental disasters in terms of waste spilled: 1

Land covered by the sludge: 300 acres

Depth of the sludge at its highest point: 6 feet

Number of properties damaged: 42

Factor by which arsenic levels found in samples taken two miles downstream from the spill exceeded safe drinking water limits: 30

Days it took before authorities issued a notice advising residents not to touch the waste or drink water from affected wells and springs: 7

Number of breaches in the same ash pond over the past six years: 2

Tons of coal combustion waste produced each year by U.S. coal plants: 129 million

Rank of coal combustion waste among top waste streams in the U.S.: 2

Number of federal regulations governing coal combustion waste: 0

Year EPA last considered regulating coal combustion waste: 2000

According to EPA, number of times the risk of getting cancer from coal ash lagoons exceeds safety standards: 10,000

Number of sites around the country that the EPA says have proven damage from coal ash: 24

Number of U.S. power plants dumping more coal waste into ponds then the one that failed at Kingston: 22

All sources on file with the Institute for Southern Studies; for more information, e-mail