TVA about halfway through recovery at ash spill site

TVA about halfway through recovery at ash spill site

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The affected parts of the Emory River were dredged. The affected parts of the Emory River were dredged.
The work that remains is in the middle embayment, which still has more than 20 feet of ash to be removed from the surface. The work that remains is in the middle embayment, which still has more than 20 feet of ash to be removed from the surface.

By JESSA LEWIS
6 News Reporter

KINGSTON (WATE) - In three years, officials with the Tennessee Valley Authority say they've cleaned up about 80 percent of the ash that spilled out of a collapsed dredge cell at the Kingston Fossil Plant.

A series of dikes at the plant collapsed on December 22, 2008, spewing an estimated 5.4 million cubic yards of ash and sludge into nearby homes, farmland and the Emory River.

"Everybody just had a strong interest in trying to remove this material from the river and the embayment as quickly as we could," said Steve McCracken, general manager of the Kingston Ash Recovery Project.

The affected parts of the Emory River were dredged and the north embayment was cleaned using heavy machinery.

"We re-routed water to not have to work on the water like we did on the river to clean it up. It took us 12 months to clean up the 800,000 to 1 million cubic yards of material that had spilled into this area," McCracken said.

The work that remains is in the middle embayment, which still has more than 20 feet of ash to be removed from the surface.

TVA says the remaining dry ash from the spill will be placed back into the repaired and strengthened dredge cell, which will then be capped and covered.

"What they're going to do now is find alternative places on the site to place this dry ash material, but it will be a better situation than they had before because wet ash is harder to deal with," McCracken said.

TVA expects the clean-up to be completed by late 2014. The project is expected to cost more than $1 billion

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