Study of TVA coal ash ponds finds shortcomings

Study of TVA coal ash ponds finds shortcomings

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NASHVILLE (WATE/AP) - A review has found that half of 24 ash ponds at the Tennessee Valley Authority's coal-burning power plants meet the minimum criteria for stability.

However, officials said none of the ash holding ponds had the characteristics that caused the impoundment at the Kingston Fossil Plant to burst in December 2008. An estimated 5.4 million cubic yards of ash and sludge into nearby homes and farmland. Some of the debris also made its way into the Emory River.

The assessment by Stantec, a geotechnical engineering firm, said TVA is working to improve the others.

Shortcomings at several plants included seepage from the walls of the dikes that hold back the damp coal ash, but the review said none posed any immediate threat.

Environmentalists said TVA should study the ponds' seismic stability and questioned the timing of the study.

Some portions of this report copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

 

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