Information from WYSH Radio
On Thursday, officials from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Tennessee Valley Authority updated Roane County residents on the ongoing cleanup efforts from the 2008 coal ash spill at the Kingston Fossil Plant.
The December 2008 spill dumped more than a billion gallons of coal ash sludge into the Clinch and Emory Rivers and into the surrounding community. What had been 5.4 million cubic yards of sludge is now down to about 70,000 cubic yards—or 14 million gallons—and officials expect to have the rest cleared by the end of June.
Another 100 million gallons of the coal ash will remain in the rivers as part of a long-term environmental study.
EPA officials said Thursday night that they could see the “light at the end of the tunnel” as they expect the entire project to be completed by the end of 2014.
The cleanup effort also includes measures to ensure a similar disaster does not happen again, including an 11-mile long perimeter around the plant and permanently capping and covering collected coal ash. By the time the project wraps up, the total cleanup cost is estimated at around $1 billion.
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