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TVA's coal ash spill trial to begin in September

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Lawsuits seeking damages from the Tennessee Valley Authority’s coal ash spill will go to trial in 2011.

Court records show the bench trial has been set for Sept. 13, 2011, before U.S. District Judge Thomas Varlan in Knoxville.

The court’s schedule includes numerous pre-trial hearings and deadlines.

A breach in an earthen dam in December 2008 sent 5.4 million cubic yards of toxic muck into the Emory River and onto surrounding landscape at TVA’s Kingston Plant in Roane County.

Varlan has thrown out lawsuits seeking punitive damages.

Court records also show attorneys have not agreed how long TVA’s top executive, Tom Kilgore, should have to answer questions in an Aug. 31 deposition. The judge refused to extend the questioning beyond one day.

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