A year later, TVA chief says ash spill ‘painful’

Published 10:04 pm Friday, December 18, 2009

The Tennessee Valley Authority’s top executive isn’t offering any guarantees there won’t be a repeat of a disastrous coal ash spill like the one in Kingston a year ago that has tarnished the utility’s image.

Instead, Tom Kilgore says eliminating all wet ash and gypsum storage and converting all of TVA’s coal-fired plants to dry storage is part of a plan “to help prevent anything like the Kingston spill from ever happening again.”

He also said the Dec. 22, 2008, spill of 5.4 million cubic yards of ash won’t permanently smear the utility’s reputation.

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Kilgore says the spill is a “painful part of our history,” but TVA has a tradition of being an important part of the region’s development and economic life.