Ash flood may change way TVA handles coal waste

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KINGSTON, Tenn. (AP) — The spill of more than a billion gallons of coal ash from a power plant in East Tennessee may change the way the nation’s largest government-owned utility stores coal waste.

Roane County officials are pushing the Tennessee Valley Authority to quit using large retention ponds filled with water and fly ash, a byproduct of coal-fired power plants.

One of the ponds burst Dec. 22 at a plant roughly 35 miles west of Knoxville, sending a flood of gray sludge over about 300 acres and destroying three homes.

Roane County Executive Mike Farmer said Monday he doesn’t expect to see such holding ponds on the TVA property in the future.

TVA Chief Executive Tom Kilgore also told residents at a meeting Sunday that his agency is reviewing storage options at the plant.

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From the TVA website:

Ash Slide at Kingston Fossil Plant

TVA, local, state and federal agencies continue to work on recovery and clean up of a release of ash caused by a failure of a coal fly ash containment retention wall at TVA’s Kingston Fossil Plant in East Tennessee.

The agencies have opened a Joint Information Center at the Roane County Rescue Squad Building, located at 2735 Roane State Highway, Harriman, Tennessee.

Details on community assistance efforts, water testing results, inspection history, and recovery and clean up status can be found on the Kingston update page: