Ash spill expensive for TVA

Feb. 13, 2009 at 1:16 AM

KNOXVILLE, Tenn., Feb. 13 (UPI) -- Cleaning up a large spill of coal ash at a Tennessee power plant will cost up to $825 million, the head of the Tennessee Valley Authority said Thursday.

Chief Executive Officer Tom Kilgore told the TVA board the estimate does not include damages from lawsuits filed over the spill, The (Nashville) Tennessean reported. He said the amount covered by insurance is also unknown.

"There's a lot of things we don't know now," he said. "There's a lot of times we're going to have to handle this ash."

More than 5 million cubic yards of ash spilled when a containment pond at the Kingston plant broke Dec. 22. TVA has bought 20 properties damaged or destroyed by the spill and has made offers on 20 more, Kilgore said.

Ash will have to be dredged from the Emory River, and he told the board that the ash will have to be moved at least twice during the cleanup.

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