I’m sure some of you are familiar with the pre Christmas dike failure in 2008 at TVA’s Kingston TN Coal Fired Generating plant that allowed thousands of cubic yards of coal ash to slide into the Clinch River just above its confluence with the Tennessee River. After almost four years of clean up and PR work, TVA has announced that the remaining contaminates will be allowed to be processed naturally by the river system. This decision was made after consideration of several alternatives and is believed to be the best for the local and regional environment.
I am in agreement with this assessment as it will limit the further disruption of the river bottom, which as you may or may not know is the resting place of what TVA calls “Legacy Contaminates”. This is left over contamination as a result of the disposal of wast upstream the the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge facility. Disruption of this waste may cause more harm than the residual ash contaminates will via the natural scrubbing of the system. The real question will be if the USCG will rethink its desision to abandon the Clinch River navigation system and come back to support it again. Below is the content of the TVA press release.
November 7, 2012
KINGSTON, Tenn. ― The Tennessee Valley Authority will rely on natural river processes and long-term monitoring to address residual ash in the Clinch and lower Emory rivers as part of the recovery from the 2008 coal ash spill at the Kingston Fossil Plant.
The process, known as Monitored Natural Recovery, is the preferred option among several alternatives proposed to manage an estimated 500,000 cubic yards of remaining ash dispersed intermittently over more than 200 acres in the river system.
The alternatives were proposed in an Engineering Evaluation and Cost Analysis, which was released for public review and comment in August.
TVA’s selection of Monitored Natural Recovery, also called EE/CA Alternative 1, is documented in an Action Memorandum released by the agency. It is based on extensive research, including human health and ecological risk assessments, and aligns with the majority of public comments received on the EE/CA alternatives.
The selection was also approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation.
Monitored Natural Recovery avoids disturbing legacy contaminants from past U.S. Department of Energy projects in the river system, provides the best balance with respect to effectiveness and implementation, and is the most cost-effective option for consumers of TVA power.
The memorandum will be the subject of a public meeting Thursday, Nov. 8, at Roane County High School, 540 Cumberland St., Kingston, Tenn., beginning at 5:30 p.m. EST. Representatives from TVA, EPA and TDEC will be available to provide information and answer questions about current recovery activities at the Kingston site and the selected alternative under the Action Memorandum.
The Action Memorandum has been posted to the Administrative Record for the Kingston Ash Recovery Project at www.tva.com/kingston. It also is available for review at the Kingston Public Library in Kingston, Tenn., and at the Harriman Public Library in Harriman, Tenn.
TVA invites the public to review and comment on the Action Memorandum from Nov. 9 through Dec. 8, 2012. Pertinent comments and their responses will be included in a Responsiveness Summary document and placed in the Administrative Record.
The Tennessee Valley Authority, a corporation owned by the U.S. government, provides electricity for business customers and distribution utilities that serve 9 million people in parts of seven southeastern states at prices below the national average. TVA, which receives no taxpayer money and makes no profits, also provides flood control, navigation and land management for the Tennessee River system and assists utilities and state and local governments with economic development.
Scott Brooks, Knoxville, 865-632-8031
TVA Media Relations, Knoxville, 865-632-6000