TVA Will Store All Ash On Site in Next Phase of Kingston Cleanup
May 18, 2010
KINGSTON, Tenn. ― The Tennessee Valley Authority will securely and permanently store onsite all ash removed in the next phase of recovery work to begin soon at Kingston Fossil Plant in Harriman, Tenn.
The decision was announced today in an Action Memorandum issued by TVA and approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation.
TVA’s work to remove more than 3 million cubic yards of ash from the Emory River will be substantially complete later this month. TVA then will immediately begin the longer-term phase of recovery of the Swan Pond Embayment near Swan Pond Road and Swan Pond Circle Road that is addressed by the memorandum. This will include closing the dredge cell that failed in December 2008 and ensuring that public health and safety continue to be protected. This work is expected to take almost four years and cost about $270 million.
Several alternatives for this work were proposed in an Engineering Evaluation and Cost Analysis released for public review and comment in January. After carefully reviewing all comments received through April 5, TVA, with approval from EPA and TDEC, selected alternative 3B which was the most effective, protective and least disruptive measure for nearby communities and the least expensive option for consumers of TVA power.
The environmental protection and beneficial economic value of the work for the State of Tennessee and Roane County was determined to be the same for each of the alternatives considered.
In the alternative to be implemented, all ash removed from the embayment will be permanently stored on site, virtually eliminating the risks and costs associated with shipping ash over public roads or rails.
Keeping all the ash on site will minimize heavy truck traffic in the Roane County community, reduce wear and tear on area roads, and be less disruptive to local traffic and commerce. Onsite disposal also will address community concerns about proper disposal and management of ash in private landfills.
TVA will place the dry ash atop an engineered foundation of sand, gravel, and geo fabric enclosed by an underground perimeter wall constructed of cement mixed with subsurface soil to divert drainage and control runoff. Upon completion, the area will be capped with layers of clay and topsoil, and graded to drain in order to minimize water moving through the ash. The area then will be seeded, mulched and regularly inspected to ensure public health and safety.
The area will not include a liner system, however the long-term closure plan will include extensive groundwater monitoring of existing and new wells.
On May 4, 2010, EPA issued its proposed rules for regulating coal ash. These proposed rules do not affect TVA’s selected alternative for recovery of the ash spill site. TVA will continue to follow the Comprehensive Emergency Response, Compensation, and Liability Act guidelines as outlined in the Administrative Order and Agreement on Consent signed by TVA and EPA in May 2009.
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 TVA Outreach Center and Kingston Public Library in Kingston, Tenn., and at the Harriman Public Library in Harriman, Tenn.
The memorandum will be the subject of a public meeting Thursday, May 20, at Roane County High School, 540 Cumberland St., Kingston, Tenn., from 5:30-8:30 p.m. EDT. Representatives from TVA, EPA and TDEC and other agencies and groups will be available to provide information and answer questions about current recovery activities at the Kingston site and those planned under the Action Memorandum.
The Tennessee Valley Authority, a corporation owned by the U.S. government, provides electricity for 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.
Barbara Martocci, Knoxville, (865) 632-8632
Media Relations, Knoxville (865) 632-6000