TVA continues cleanup of Kingston ash spill two years later

TVA continues cleanup of Kingston ash spill two years later

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The ash is piled high in some areas, between 10 and 15 feet on top of what used to be smaller waterways. The ash is piled high in some areas, between 10 and 15 feet on top of what used to be smaller waterways.
The project will continue to require hundreds of workers, at least into 2013. The project will continue to require hundreds of workers, at least into 2013.

By ANN KEIL
6 News Reporter

KINGSTON (WATE) - Nearly two years after the TVA ash spill at the Kingston fossil plant, the clean up effort continues. The estimated cleanup cost is $1.2 billion.

The disaster happened in a once quiet Roane County neighborhood. It's now anything but quiet.

"Our plan is to follow through in our commitment to make things right," said TVA Senior Vice President Bob Deacy.

He is happy with the federal utility's progress. They are in phase two of the cleanup, on schedule and on budget.

"We've moved 4 million tons of material out between dredging and mechanical excavation, and we've been railing it down to Alabama to a disposal facility," Deacy said.

Still the ash is piled high in some areas, between 10 and 15 feet on top of what used to be smaller waterways.

"I look back and say that was an incredible task, but we still have a tough task ahead of us and that's to cleanup up the remainder of the material," Deacy said.

The project will continue to require hundreds of workers, at least into 2013. They will move the remaining ash back into the pond that failed in December 2008.

When asked about anything TVA could have done differently, Deacy talked about their response to extreme weather, that for one allowed the ash to spread.

"Obviously we could have planned better for weather the last two years. We had an extreme amount of rainfall we didn't anticipate if you look at the normal rainfall in this area," he said.

TVA is currently working on a plan for the 930 acres it accumulated since the spill. The utility hopes to sell some of the land, use some as a barrier around the dry storage pond, and the remaining property will be designated for community use.

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