Kingston Ash Release
Last Updated September 2, 2011
Air Monitoring Results Summary
Air monitoring results for the KIF ash recovery project continue to confirm that national ambient air quality standards for PM10 and PM2.5 and even more stringent project action levels are being met.
TVA collected both PM10 and filter-based samples until August, 2011 and found that:
Project action levels for arsenic and silica were never exceeded.
Concentrations of other ash constituents were either indistinguishable from background soil levels or fell below their respective soil risk-based screening levels (RBSLs).
Continuous PM2.5 monitoring results closely compare to PM10 measurements and PM2.5 results are more relevant to human health.
As a result of a semi-annual performance audit, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) agreed in August, 2011, that TVA could discontinue PM10 and filter-based sampling, based on analysis of more than two years of results.
TVA continues to collect PM2.5 results continuously at five stations encircling the ash recovery site, and will do so through the completion of the ash recovery project.
Current Air Monitoring
The Kingston ash recovery project air monitoring network is designed to measure ambient (or outdoor) air quality to determine whether dust control measures are effectively controlling dust from migrating off the Kingston site. EPA, TDEC, TVA and its contractors have implemented an air monitoring program tailored to the recovery project. To that end, TVA operates five monitoring stations around the perimeter of the plant and spill.
The latest Kingston Ambient Air Monitoring Plan (AAMP) approved by EPA and TDEC employs continuous monitoring with federal equivalent method (FEM) instruments that report particulate concentrations hourly from all five monitoring stations.
Monitoring results are compared to the action levels for the recovery project, which are more stringent than National Ambient Air Quality Standards. If action levels are exceeded due to site activities, the site immediately takes steps to address the issue.
The raw data are immediately available to EPA, TDEC, TVA and site dust control personnel. After a quality assurance review results are posted on the TVA website. Routine third-party oversight and periodic audits by regulatory agencies ensure the validity of the data collected.
PM2.5 is monitored at each Kingston Ash Recovery Project fixed station. TVA has placed federal equivalent method (FEM) monitors at all five fixed monitoring locations around the perimeter of the project. These instruments monitor real-time air quality and dust-suppression effectiveness by continuously measuring the concentrations of particles with sizes of 2.5 micrometers or less (PM2.5). TDEC continuously monitors real-time background PM2.5 levels at station PS10.
TVA monitored concentrations of particles 10 micrometers or less (PM10) using a high-volume sampler at station PS07 and a real-time monitor at station PS09. High-volume samplers collect bigger samples of air particulates from larger volumes of air.
Since installation in the spring of 2009, the real-time monitor at station PS09 continually measured air quality and dust-suppression effectiveness at the PM10 level. TDEC also has a real-time PM10 monitor at station PS07.
EPA and TDEC agreed that TVA could discontinue PM 10 sampling in August, 2011, based on the analysis of two years of collected data. Real-time PM2.5 monitoring will continue for the duration of the project.
Other Ash Constituents
Filters from high-volume samplers were analyzed at independent laboratories for Constituents of Potential Concern (COPCs). Based on an early assessment, arsenic and respirable quartz (silica) were identified as the primary air particulate COPCs for the ash spill site. However, both TDEC and TVA also sampled for aluminum, barium, beryllium, cadmium, chromium, lead, manganese, selenium, thallium, and vanadium. None of these constituents were detected at levels that would be a health risk under the short-term exposure limits set by the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, an agency operated by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
EPA and TDEC agreed that high-volume filter based sampling could be discontinued as of September 2011, based on the analysis of two years of results.