published Friday, August 1st, 2014

TVA to pay Kingston coal ash spill victims $27.8M

Work cleaning up contaminated areas surrounding the Kingston fossil plant in Harrimon, Tenn., is shown in this file photo.
Work cleaning up contaminated areas surrounding the Kingston fossil plant in Harrimon, Tenn., is shown in this file photo.
Photo by Dan Henry /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — 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.

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.

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