TVA announces changes to ensure proper handling of coal ash spill

In the midst of a massive, $1 million-a day-cleanup effort and under the threat of numerous lawsuits, the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) today announced organization changes and staff assignments “to ensure the effective, long-term management of the recovery effort at Kingston Fossil Plant,” according to the Chattanoogan.

About six weeks ago, a coal ash impoundment at the TVA’s Kingston’s plant failed, pouring 1.1 billion gallons of toxic mud and slush over 300 acres of rural east Tennessee. The massive outpour destroyed homes and damaged houses in its wake. As a result, the utility said it now must staff an unexpected but essential recovery effort.

The changes address three key TVA objectives – establishing project management of the recovery effort; consolidating, standardizing and strengthening engineering efforts across the utility; and ensuring leadership for the ongoing operation of TVA’s nuclear and fossil plants, according to the report.

Oversight for the overall scope and recovery strategy, agency and public interface and overall progress will be handled by Anda Ray. Ray also will oversee all TVA environmental activities. Construction and ash and gypsum mediation efforts at all coal plants will be handled by Bob Deacy. Both Ray and Deacy will report directly to TVA CEO Tom Kilgore to ensure “that TVA effectively coordinates all recovery activities” in the Kingston area.

Preston Swafford was reassigned to be the new executive vice president and chief nuclear officer. Bill Campbell, who currently serves as chief nuclear officer, will now serve as senior vice president of all TVA Fleet Engineering.

The moves help ensure improved focus and execution of engineering across the TVA system, according to a utility spokesman.