TVA to pay Kingston coal ash spill victims $27.8M

TVA to pay Kingston coal ash spill victims $27.8M

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KINGSTON (WATE/AP) - The Tennessee Valley Authority has agreed to pay $27.8 million to settle claims from property owners who suffered damages from a huge spill of toxin-laden coal ash sludge.    

The 2008 spill happened when a containment dike burst at TVA's Kingston Fossil Plant, releasing more than 5 million cubic yards of ash from a storage pond. The sludge flowed into a river and spoiled hundreds of acres in a riverside community 35 miles west of Knoxville.

"Well it's a win from the early shock of seeing what happened over there that morning to being able to see the good things that have happened since then," said Mayor Troy Beets of Kingston.

Previous coverage: TVA Coal Ash Spill

U.S. District Court Judge Thomas Varlan ruled in 2012 that TVA was liable for the spill. He wrote in his opinion that if TVA had followed its own policies, the problems that led to the dike failure would have been investigated and addressed.

The settlement with more than 800 property owners was announced on Friday.

"We're happy that we were able to come to a resolution because it was more than a year and half, going on two years of mediation, and the other alternative would have been a long court battle," said Scott Brooks of TVA.

More online: Read the full court filing [PDF]

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Cameron Taylor contributed to this report.

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