TVA plans to have ash spill of 2008 cleaned up by 2014

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — A Tennessee Valley Authority conceptual plan for the area where coal ash spilled from a breach in a holding pond at its Kingston Plant includes ball fields, a walking trail and boat ramps.

A TVA representative involved in the recovery from the December 2008 spill in Roane County’s Swan Pond community west of Knoxville described the conceptual proposals to about 100 people at a Tuesday meeting in Kingston.

“We can’t change the fact that the spill occurred, but we can fix what happened and help make things right for the community,” TVA’s Katie Kline said.

The Knoxville-based utility is asking for public comment.

Roane County Executive Ron Woody told The Knoxville News Sentinel (http://bit.ly/qM2mhr) that the community is “optimistic about TVA’s proposals.”

As part of the $1.2 billion cleanup, TVA has purchased 889 nearby acres for $46.6 million.

TVA’s proposals include razing houses on a narrow peninsula next to the Emory River, and converting that 35-acre area into a dawn-to-dusk TVA park with a boat ramp, two fishing piers and walking trail. Grading of part of a 75-acre tract for four baseball fields and three soccer fields are tentatively identified as a recreation area.

Wetlands would be created next to a 240-acre natural area.

Kline said TVA’s plans “aren’t set in stone” but some work is moving ahead. She said TVA has received bids ranging from around $1 million to about $6 million to remove 156 structures from the properties. That includes 63 homes, including a few in the $500,000 range. Boat houses, docks, swimming pools, outbuildings and driveways are also to be demolished.

Kline said the gated park should be completed by late 2012 or early 2013 and will be maintained by TVA.

TVA plans to finish the ash cleanup by 2014, said Steve McCracken, general manager of the Kingston Recovery Project.

Remaining coal ash will be stacked in the old dredge cell that ruptured, he said. A new perimeter wall is being built there, and the 100-acre site will then be capped and secured to “look like a large, green field,” he said.

Information from: The Knoxville News Sentinel, http://www.knoxnews.com

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