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TVA says cleanup not a health risk

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) officials have assured state lawmakers that the cleanup of coal ash spilled into the Emory River in East Tennessee is not a health risk.

TVA officials addressed the Joint Conservation and Environment Committee yesterday.

In Dec. 2008, 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.

TVA’s Steve McCracken is general manager of the cleanup, which is expected to be complete in May. He told lawmakers that about 2.5 million cubic yards of coal ash have been removed from the river, about 70 percent of the ash spilled into the water.

He says “there are no air emissions or water emissions” that are affecting anybody on or off the site.

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