TVA releases details of coal ash spill cleanup plan

The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) this week released to state regulators its plan to clean up the mess it left behind when its Kingston, Tennessee, plant dumped 1.1 billion gallons of toxic mess in east Tennessee last December. The plan outlines a detailed disposal plan that includes turning the Kingston coal ash ponds into dry ash storage and capping the existing pond, to “limit chances of another ash pond leak,”according to the Times Free Press.

Converting the coal ash ponds to dry ash storage will take about 18 to 24 months to complete. Meantime, TVA will continue working on cleaning up the mess made by the coal ash pond that failed. That cleanup effort is expected to ring in as high as $825 million. TVA has vowed to make the area affected by the spill “as good, if not better than before” the spill occurred. It also will continue to support regulators in the monitoring of water, soil and air.

TVA also is working with state Environment and Conservation for a safe way to remove the ash in the main channel of the Emory River. Once removed, that ash will be temporarily placed on a ball field and at another site at the Kingston plant.

The cleanup will be “developed and reviewed by an interagency team” including the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, Tennessee Department of Health, the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Roane County officials. TVA also is developing a community involvement cleanup plan.