Tennessee: EPA reissues advisory for Watts Bar Lake

Tennessee: EPA reissues advisory for Watts Bar Lake

June 18th, 2009 by Staff Report in News

Federal and state regulators on Wednesday reissued an advisory for the public to avoid recreational use of the Emory River near TVA's Kingston Fossil Plant.

Small boats are allowed to pass through a well-marked navigational lane on the Emory River. But U.S. Environmental Protection Agency spokeswoman Davina Marraccini said swimming, jet skiing, water skiing and tubing are not advised near where a coal ash pond spilled into the Emory River last December.

The warning is similar to what regulators issued in January. But Ms. Marraccini said the new advisory was issued to remind the public as the prime summertime recreation season begins.

"In addition to construction-related risks, contact with submerged or floating ash should be avoided, and if ash is contacted it should be washed off with soap and water," EPA said in its advisory warning. "Chronic exposure by incidental ingestion and inhalation should also be avoided."

The Tennessee Valley Authority is dredging the main channel of the Emory River to remove coal ash from the river and is preparing plans to clean up the rest of nearly 300 acres of contaminated land near the coal plant.

Water-based recreation on the Clinch and Tennessee rivers should not be affected this season and can continue, according to the EPA advisory.