published Sunday, January 4th, 2009

Tennessee: Spill cleanup shifts focus away from emissions

PDF: Ash health study

PDF: Swan Pond ash report

Article: Health report on ash spill disputed

Article: 1 year later: Digging out of the ashes

PDF: Kingston timeline

Article: Coal ash disaster prompts TVA to restructure

Article: Ash spill area residents still angry one year later

PDF: TVA notice of winning performance payments

PDF: Richard Moore testimony

PDF: Tom Kilgore testimony

PDF: Lessons Learned

PDF: TVA Stakeholder Letter

Article: TVA sending ash to 2 sites

PDF: Ash load test letters

PDF: Kingston ash facts

Article: Study links cancer rate, coal ash landfills

Article: Ash cleanup price tag nears $1 billion

PDF: TVA quarterly report

PDF: TVA coal plant emissions

PDF: Tom Kilgore

Article: 100 days later, ash spill questions linger for Tennessee Valley Authority

Article: Kingston ash spill site roads reopening

Article: Chattanooga : Tests show no sign of ash spill

PDF: TVA Corrective Action Plan

Article: Tennessee Valley Authority may end ash ponds in Kingston

Article: Tennessee: Brockovich firm files ash spill lawsuit

Article: Tennessee: Coal ash regulation bill pushed in wake of TVA spill

PDF: TVA ash cleanup plan

Article: Tennessee: Costs mount for Kingston ash cleanup

Article:Tennessee: Kingston ash spill prompts 2nd congressional hearing

PDF: TVA ash cleanup plan

PDF: Ash removal facts

Article:Tennessee Valley Authority to dredge Emory River to remove ash

PDF: TVA executive changes

Article:Tennessee Valley Authority shakes up executive staff

Article: Tennessee: Grassroots ash effort grows Internet roots

Article: Tennessee: Study suggests coal ash spill health risk

PDF: Duke University study

Article: Tennessee: Lawmakers push federal aid for TVA spill cleanup

PDF: TVA Ocoee Plans

Coal ash: What states and plants are putting into pond

Article: Tennessee Valley Authority plan changes Ocoee controls

Article: Tennessee: Decisions on ash spill cleanup still up in air

Article:Video: Residents react one month after spill

Article:Tennessee: Tests show no fly ash toxins in river water

Article: Tennessee: Groups protest TVA ash spills

Article: Tennessee: Polk votes to post warnings on Ocoee

PDF: Polk County Commission resolution

Article:Tennessee: More scrubbers ordered for Widows Creek plant

PDF: federal court order

Video: TVA spill prompts local water testing

PDF: Bredesen Announces Order Formalizing Cleanup and Compliance Proceeds

PDF: TVA Ocoee Dam

PDF: Order issued

Article: Tennessee: Widows Creek ash may be more toxic than Kingston’s

Article: Tennessee: Costly spill cleanup spurs debate over who pays

Article: Tennessee: Groups urge more regulations on coal ash

Article: Tennessee: Early warnings on ash pond leaks

Article: Tennessee: Environmental groups prepare to sue TVA

Article: Tennessee: Early warnings on ash pond leaks

Article:Tennessee: Brockovich aids ash victims

Article:Tennessee: Senate panel blasts TVA over Kingston ash spill

PDF: Kingston Senate Hearing Testmony

Article: Tennessee: Groups urge more regulations on coal ash

PDF: NASA satellite photo

Article: Kingston: TVA watchdog to review Kingston ash spill

Article:Lawsuit planned against TVA over Kingston coal ash spill

Article:Corker says ash spill should be 'wake-up call' for state and federal agencies

Article:Kingston: TVA watchdog to review Kingston ash spill

Article:Lawsuit planned against TVA over Kingston coal ash spill

Article: Kingston cleanup (video)

PDF: 2008 dike inspection report

Article: Early warnings on ash pond leaks

Article: Farmers worried TVA doesn’t understand their concerns

Article: Tennessee: Community awaits answers

Article: Tennessee: Spill cleanup shifts focus away from emissions

Article:Tennessee Valley Authority spill could endanger sturgeon

Article: Tennessee Valley Authority to spread grass seed at Kingston coal ash spill site

PDF: EPA Testing Results

Article: Metal levels at ash spill exceed TVA's measure

Editorial Cartoon: Clean Coal

PDF: TVA incident action plan 01/01/09

PDF: Preliminary TVA Ash Spill Sample Data

Video: Ash spill clean up

Video: Ash spill demolition

Video: Ash spill aftermath

Article: Tennessee-American tests water following Kingston plant spill

Article: Tennessee: Governor says state will toughen oversight on TVA facilities

PDF: Chattanooga_Water_Quality

PDF:Ash spill

Article:Tennessee: Corps to dredge river to clear coal ash spill

Article:Tennessee: Questions persists on spill

PDF: Berke TVA Spill

PDF: Wamp Statement on Kingston

PDF: EPA Statement on Ash Release

Article:Tennessee Valley Authority vows to clean up spill,

Article:Tennessee Valley Authority boosts estimate from coal ash spill

Article: First tests show water safe after ash deluge

Article: Cleanup begins in wake of ash pond flood

Article: Tennessee: Cleanup begins in wake of ash pond flood

Article: TVA dike bursts in Tennessee, flooding 8-10 homes

HARRIMAN, Tenn. — The smokestacks that tower over the Kingston Fossil Plant showcase the evolution in TVA’s efforts to clean up one of its biggest coal plants.

By the spring of 2010, the federal utility plans to complete a $500 million addition of two scrubbers here to remove more than 90 percent of the plant’s smog-causing air emissions. Plant Manager Ronald Hall said the scrubbers, the third generation of air pollution controls, will replace the giant smokestacks that were erected in the 1970s to help limit localized toxic substances released when Kingston opened as the world’s biggest coal power plant in 1955.

But for all the investment and improvement the scrubbers represent, Mr. Hall and others in this riverfront community are focused on a more immediate and bigger environmental challenge. The rupture of a fly ash storage cell into nearby rivers and homes on Dec. 22 has shifted pollution concerns from air emissions to fly ash dumped on the land, in the river and now threatening to be blown around in the air.

“This may be the biggest environmental disaster ever, at least in its size and scope, and that is a very sad legacy TVA will have to live with,” said Stephen Smith, executive director for the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, a Knoxville-based environmental group critical of coal plants. “We were pleased to see TVA’s decision to finally install scrubbers at Kingston. But the events of the past couple of weeks prove again that coal is still a very dirty source of power. I’m afraid Kingston will forever be known for this disaster.”

TVA has promised to clean up the 1.1 billion gallons of fly ash and muck that flowed out of an elevated ash storage pond.

Agency officials said they still don’t know how long or how expensive it will be to clean up the 300-plus acres covered with ash. But a much smaller 2005 spill of an ash pond at the Martins Creek Power Plant in Pennsylvania ended up costing the plant’s owner, PPL Corp., about $38.5 million in fines and cleanup costs.

TVA already has pledged to spend more than $1 billion to install scrubbers within the next four years at its three East Tennessee coal plants — Kingston, Bull Run near Oak Ridge and John Sevier near Rogersville — part of TVA’s overall $5.8 billion program to limit air pollution from its 11 coal plants.

“We continue to invest in clean air improvements to reduce our emissions, and these scrubbers are an important part of our ongoing efforts,” TVA spokesman Gil Francis said.

The upgrade is expected to cut more than 90 percent of smog-producing sulfur and nitrogen oxide emissions in the air.

Until two weeks ago, the upgrade also was expected to help shield the Kingston plant from persistent environmental complaints and pollution lawsuits. But the ash pond spill has put the Kingston plant in the global spotlight and at the epicenter of the debate over America’s coal future, according to Don Barger, senior director of the Southeast regional office of the National Parks Conservation Association.

“This spill shows us once again that there is no such thing as ‘clean coal,’ despite what the industry tries to tell us,” he said. “Coal is touted as a cheap source of power, but it’s not going to be cheap to clean up this mess.”

Despite the cleanup and pollution control costs for coal plants, however, TVA studies show that power generation from existing TVA coal plants is typically only about one-third as expensive as comparable generation from solar or wind sources and, at current fuel prices, about half the cost of natural gas-fired generation.

Last year, coal-fired plants generated nearly 60 percent of TVA’s electricity, Mr. Francis said.

  • Video: Ash spill aftermath
    Watch as Terry and Sandy Gupton explain the effects a coal-ash spill that flooded part of their farm property near Harriman, Tenn. Coal ash blanketed more than 300 acres surrounding the TVA steam plant after an earthen retaining wall around the Kingston plant's ash pond broke in late December, emptying 5.4 million cubic yards of coal ash into the adjacent river and low lying properties.
  • Video: Ash spill demolition
    Watch as Roane County, Tenn., resident Crystell Flinn explains her experiences following the coal-ash spill last month that blanketed more than 300 acres surrounding the TVA’s Kingston steam plant. Mrs. Flinn’s home was destroyed after an earthen retaining wall around the plant's ash pond broke, emptying 5.4 million cubic yards of coal ash into the adjacent river and low-lying properties.
  • Video: Ash spill clean up
    Watch as Francie Harkenrider, owner of the Watts Bar Belle boat and restaurant docked near Kingston, Tenn., describes the effects that the TVA’s coal ash spill is having on her business. Coal ash blanketed more than 300 acres surrounding the Kingston steam plant after an earthen retaining wall around the plant's ash pond broke in December, emptying 5.4 million cubic yards of coal ash into the adjacent river and low lying properties.
about Pam Sohn...

Pam Sohn has been reporting or editing Chattanooga news for 25 years. A Walden’s Ridge native, she began her journalism career with a 10-year stint at the Anniston (Ala.) Star. She came to the Chattanooga Times Free Press in 1999 after working at the Chattanooga Times for 14 years. She has been a city editor, Sunday editor, wire editor, projects team leader and assistant lifestyle editor. As a reporter, she also has covered the police, ...

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