TVA Begins Dredging To Remove Ash from Emory River, Restore Environment
March 20, 2009
HARRIMAN, Tenn. — TVA has begun dredging operations to remove ash from the navigation channel of the Emory River — a key milestone in its recovery of the Kingston Fossil Plant ash and remediation of the local environment.
The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation and the Environmental Protection Agency have approved TVA’s Phase One Dredge Plan.
“TVA is committed to recovering the ash that was released from Kingston and restoring the area in a manner that will protect public health and the environment, “said TVA’s Environmental Executive Anda Ray. “We will remove the ash from the river channel as safely and efficiently as possible and restore navigation. “
Ray said that water quality monitoring equipment has been placed in the river that will continuously monitor water clarity and quality upstream and downstream of the dredging operation.
During phase one, TVA will partially clear the river channel to restore flow without disturbing legacy, natural river sediments. Future work to fully restore the river channel to its original depth will occur during the second phase of dredging.
TVA will use barges with hydraulic dredges along with piping to move the dredged material back onto the plant site. A barge also will be used to remove any debris that is found as dredging progresses, such as large rocks, trees, limbs, and other items that may be submerged in the river.
Ash removed from the river will be separated from the water and temporarily stored on site until TVA has an approved plan for longer-term disposal and storage.
TVA is taking steps to minimize inconveniences to residents of the area, including installing special noise reduction equipment on the diesel engines, pumps and compressors and devices to reduce the glare of lighting at night.
“TVA appreciates the continued patience of the local community with our cleanup and recovery operations,” Ray said. “We are committed to making things as good, if not better, than they were before.”
The Dredge Plan is part of the actions TVA agreed to deliver in its Corrective Action Plan for Kingston submitted earlier this month to the TDEC and EPA. The Corrective Action Plan is a framework that outlines how TVA will proceed with planning and implementing all work needed to restore the site of the ash spill while maintaining public health and safety.
TVA is the nation’s largest public power provider and is completely self-financing. TVA provides power to large industries and 158 power distributors that serve approximately 9 million consumers in seven southeastern states. TVA also manages the Tennessee River and its tributaries to provide multiple benefits, including flood damage reduction, navigation, water quality and recreation.
Barbara Martocci, Knoxville, (865) 632-8632
TVA News Bureau, Knoxville, (865) 632-6000