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TVA expects to have ash spill cleaned up in May

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — The Tennessee Valley Authority’s (TVA’s) top executive says the cleanup of coal ash spilled into the Emory River in East Tennessee will “probably” be finished by mid-May.

Tom Kilgore told the utility’s board members meeting in Bristol that he is pleased with the progress of the river cleanup.

About 2.2 million cubic yards of coal ash have been removed from the river, about 70 percent of the ash spilled into the water in December 2008. The EPA this week expanded the area that is closed from zero-mile marker to the 6-mile marker.

About 5.4 million cubic yards of coal ash laced with arsenic and potentially toxic substances spilled out of a holding pond at the Kingston TVA plant.

The ash removed from the river is being taken to a solid waste landfill in Alabama.

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