Phase 1 of TVA Coal Ash Cleanup Complete

 (Knoxnews 12-1-2010) The last rail cars loaded with coal ash dredged after a catastrophic spill nearly two years ago departed TVA's Kingston Fossil Plant on Wednesday. Officials hailed the event as a milestone in the mammoth ongoing cleanup effort.
The Norfolk Southern train and its 106 railcars with waste from the Emory River were destined for the privately operated Arrowhead Landfill in Perry County, Ala. All told, 414 trains have hauled 40,000 carloads of ash - some 4 million tons of it - to the landfill operated by the firm Phillips & Jordan, TVA officials said.
Wednesday's event wrapped up the first phase of a cleanup expected to take until 2014 to complete and to cost up to $1.2 billion. TVA ratepayers will pay for the cleanup. TVA has already spent more than $605 million on the project. The initial phase focused on removing coal ash that gushed from a ruptured holding cell near the power plant and cascaded into the river early Dec. 22, 2008. That work took priority because officials were concerned a clogged river could spur upstream flooding in the Harriman area.
The dredging work was completed last spring. Ash from the river was dried and temporarily stored on former baseball fields near the power plant. Kathryn Nash, senior manager of site operations for the Kingston Fossil Plant recovery effort, said Wednesday that she's encouraged and pleased with work done to date.
Now under way: cleanup of the remainder of the 5.4 million cubic yards of ash that spilled from the holding cell onto the countryside and into an embayment in Roane County's Swan Pond community. TVA officials say an estimated 2.5 million to 3 million cubic yards of ash remain. It will be trucked under a new bridge on Swan Pond Road and placed within the 80-acre dredge cell that ruptured and caused the disaster. The foundation of that storage cell will be fortified, stabilized and then capped. Phase-two work has a price tag of more than $268 million.
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