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EPA’s Response

Note: EPA no longer updates this information, but it may be useful as a reference or resource.


Roane County Joint Information Center News Releases Issued on TVA Kingston Fly Ash Response
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EPA Approves Cleanup Plan for Remaining Coal Ash at TVA Kingston Site
(ATLANTA – May 18, 2010) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 4 today has approved the Tennessee Valley Authority’s (TVA) selected cleanup plan for the next phase of coal ash removal at the TVA Kingston site in Roane County, Tenn. The cleanup plan, one of three alternatives proposed to the public earlier this year, requires TVA to permanently store on site all of the ash being removed from the Swan Pond Embayment, which includes land and bodies of water adjacent to the TVA coal ash disposal area. Full Story | Action Memo | Frequently Asked Questions | Fact Sheet

 

Emory River to be Closed Until Mid-May while TVA Kingston Cleanup Continues
(ATLANTA – Feb. 9, 2010) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) have brought in large hydraulic dredge equipment to expedite the removal of ash from the Emory River. To keep the river as safe as possible, the Emory River will continue to be closed until May 15, 2010 from mile marker 0 to mile marker 6. Full Story

 

Engineering Evaluation and Cost Analysis for Non-Time-Critical Cleanup Alternatives for Restoration of the TVA Kingston Site Released for Public Comment
(ATLANTA – Jan. 19, 2010) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announces the availability of an Engineering Evaluation and Cost Analysis (EE/CA) Report for the non-time-critical cleanup alternatives for restoration of the Swan Pond embayment area impacted by spilled fly ash at the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) Kingston site in Roane County, Tenn. The EE/CA Report also addresses stabilization and closure of the failed dredge cell. Public comments on the proposed alternatives in the document are being solicited beginning today through Feb. 18, 2010, so they may be factored into the final decision. Full Story

 

Work Plan for Non Time-Critical Cleanup Alternatives for Restoration of the TVA Kingston Site Released for Public Review
(Atlanta, Ga. – October 21, 2009) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is releasing today the Tennessee Valley Authority’s (TVA) work plan with the proposed alternatives for restoration of the areas impacted by the coal ash spill at the TVA Kingston Fossil Plant (the Site) in Kingston, Tenn. The work plan addresses the remaining removal activities for the Site that are not considered time-critical activities according to EPA. It is open for public comment beginning today through November 20, 2009 at http://www.epakingstontva.com/. Full Story

 

Portion of the Emory River to be Closed through February 15, 2010 while TVA Kingston Cleanup Continues
(Atlanta, Ga. – October 9, 2009) As the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) continue removal efforts at the TVA Kingston Fly Ash Spill site, large hydraulic dredge equipment is being used to expedite the removal of ash from the Emory River. To keep the river as safe as possible, the Emory River will continue to be closed from mile marker 1.5 to mile marker 3 through February 15, 2010. Full Story


Portion of the Emory River to be Closed an additional 30 Days while TVA Kingston Cleanup Continues
(Atlanta, Ga. – September 11, 2009) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) have brought in large hydraulic dredge equipment to expedite the removal of ash from the Emory River. To keep the river as safe as possible, the Emory River will be closed an additional 30 days beginning September 11, 2009, from mile marker 1.5 to mile marker 3. Full Story


EPA Returns to Perry County, Alabama’s Arrowhead Landfill
(Atlanta, Ga. – September 10, 2009) U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) officials will be returning to Perry County, Ala. on Wednesday, September 16, 2009 for a public forum at the Uniontown City Hall Auditorium to update residents about the current operation of removing coal ash from the Emory River near the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) Kingston removal site in Roane County, Tenn., and placing it into the Arrowhead Landfill in Perry County. Full Story

 

Summation of Comments Received and Response to Comments TVA Kingston Fossil Fuel Plant Release Site Administrative Order and Agreement on Consent Docket No. CERCLA-04-2009-3766 Public Comment Period May 18 – July 20, 2009 Summation [PDF, 56pp., 355K]

Portion of the Emory River to be Closed for 30 Days while TVA Kingston Cleanup Continues
(ATLANTA – August 4, 2009) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) are bringing in large hydraulic equipment to expedite the removal of ash from the Emory River. To keep the river as safe as possible, the Emory River will be closed beginning Aug. 11, 2009, from mile marker 1.5 to mile marker 3 for a minimum of 30 days. Full Story


EPA Approves Plan for Disposal of Coal Ash from TVA Kingston Site at the Arrowhead Landfill in Perry County, Alabama

(ATLANTA – July 2, 2009) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has approved the Tennessee Valley Authority’s plan to transfer coal ash from the Emory River near the TVA Kingston removal site in Roane County, Tenn., to the Arrowhead Landfill in Perry County, Ala. EPA’s Administrative Order on Consent with TVA requires that the coal ash from the site be disposed of in accordance with the most stringent protective disposal standards for municipal solid waste landfills. The Arrowhead Landfill was selected because it meets and exceeds these standards. Full Story | Disposal Plan [PDF, 20pp., 1.7M] | Frequently Asked Questions [PDF, 5pp., 73K]

 

Applications Sought From Community Groups for $50,000 Technical Assistance Plan Grant for Kingston Cleanup
(ATLANTA – June 24, 2009) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 4 is accepting Letters of Interest (LOI) through July 17 from community groups interested in applying for the Technical Assistance Plan (TAP) program grant of up to $50,000 in connection with cleanup activities at the TVA Kingston site in Roane County, Tenn. Full Story | Technical Assistance Plan Brochure [PDF, 2pp., 767K] | Frequently Asked Questions

 

Joint Public Meeting on Kingston Recovery to be Held Tuesday
(ATLANTA – June 17, 2009) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) and the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation will hold a joint meeting on Tuesday, June 23, from 5:30 to 8:00 p.m. at the Roane State Community College Theatre to discuss ongoing recovery efforts at the Kingston site. The theatre is located in the O’Brien Building on campus at 276 Patton Lane in Harriman, Tenn. Full Story

Recreational Advisory Issued for Watts Bar Reservoir
(ATLANTA – June 17, 2009) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Tennessee Department of Health, the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) and Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) have issued an advisory regarding boating, swimming and fishing on Watts Bar Reservoir. Full Story | Recreational Advisory for Watts Bar Reservoir [PDF, 1pp., 12K]

 

EPA Extends Public Comment Period on the Administrative Record For TVA’s Kingston Fossil Fuel Site
(ATLANTA – June 15, 2009) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced an extension of the public comment period on the Administrative Record for the Administrative Order and Agreement on Consent (AOC) entered into between EPA and the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) regarding the TVA Kingston Fossil Fuel Plant Release Site, in Roane County, Tenn. Full Story | Administrative Record

 

EPA to Oversee Cleanup of TVA Kingston Fossil Fuel Plant Release

(Atlanta, GA – May 11, 2009) Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency signed an enforceable agreement with the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) to oversee the removal of coal ash at the TVA Kingston Fossil Fuel Plant in Roane County, TN, where more than five million cubic yards of coal ash spilled. Under the Administrative Order and Agreement on Consent (order) which was entered into under the Superfund law, EPA will oversee the cleanup and TVA will reimburse EPA for its oversight costs. Full Story | Administrative Order on Consent for the Tennessee Valley Authority Kingston Fossil Fuel Plant Release [PDF, 33pp., 191K] | Questions & Answers on the Administrative Order on Consent for the Tennessee Valley Authority Kingston Fossil Fuel Plant Release

 

Summary of Past and Current EPA Response Activities Regarding The TVA Kingston Coal Ash Spill

On December 22, 2008, a failure of the northeastern dike used to contain fly ash occurred at the dewatering area of the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) Kingston Fossil Plant in Harriman, Roane County, Tennessee. Subsequent to the dike failure, approximately 5.4 million cubic yards of fly ash sludge was released into a branch of the Emory River. Full Summary

 

Updates: December 24, 2008 | December 28, 2008 | December 31, 2008 | January 2, 2009 | January 4, 2009 | January 6, 2009

 


January 9, 2009

The local, state and federal agencies involved in the Unified Command responding to the TVA coal ash slide are preparing to transition from the formal unified command phase to ongoing recovery efforts with continued state oversight. The transition marks progress in the initial phases of cleanup at the site, and plans are in place to guide ongoing efforts.

The Joint Information Center and Joint Operations Center will each close at 6 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 11, 2009. TVA’s operations center will continue to operate uninterrupted with cleanup work and outreach to affected citizens, and the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) will continue to have staff at the site for oversight and independent sampling activities to monitor air, water and soil quality. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is committed to continued coordination with TDEC and TVA on further characterization of the site and long term cleanup activities.

Air monitoring continued in the work zone and surrounding residential areas. EPA has taken approximately 200 readings with hand held instruments. EPA data indicates that particulate levels have remained below EPA standards for ambient air quality throughout the monitored periods of the response. EPA also provided training to TVA river water sampling teams to improve data collection.

EPA is posting data as it becomes available at http://www.epaosc.net/site_profile.asp?site_id=4642

Joint Information Center News Release #13 [PDF, 4pp., 75K]

To View all of the Roane County Joint Information Center News Releases

 

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January 6, 2009

EPA, utilizing portable handheld particulate air monitoring equipment, provided real time air monitoring for particulates on and off site near the ash removal operations. To date, approximately 100 readings have been recorded and results have ranged from 1.8 to 26.7 ug/m3. The National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) for PM 2.5 (24 hour sample) is 35 ug/m3 for 24 hours, and the NAAQS for PM 10 (24 hour sample) is 150 ug/m3 for 24 hours. EPA continues to evaluate TVA data on air monitoring.

From December 28th to 30th, EPA re-sampled the Clinch, Tennessee, and Emory Rivers. Two out of 16 samples taken on the water had measurements in excess of the Tennessee Water Quality Criteria for Domestic Supply. The results indicate a decrease in previously detected compounds (arsenic and total suspended solids from the December 23rd sampling event).

EPA collected 4 residential soil samples and 5 samples in public areas. None of the values exceeded EPA Region 4’s Removal Action Level (RAL. RALs identify contaminant levels at which time critical response actions may be required.

EPA characterized the ash at the top of the cell. Samples of ash deposited on the roadway near the site were consistent with ash constituents measured in the cell and indicated arsenic levels exceeding RALs. EPA is working with TVA and TDEC on the development of a sampling plan to characterize potential arsenic contamination on residential properties.

TVA continues to manage river flows on the Clinch and Tennessee Rivers to minimize impact of the fly ash release to the Kingston WTP intake. The Kingston water intake is located on the Tennessee River approximately one half mile upstream of the confluence of the Tennessee and Clinch Rivers. Rock weir construction by TVA has been completed on the Emory River to minimize sediment flow downstream. TVA has opened an Outreach Center at 509 North Kentucky Street in Kingston. The center will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Saturday, and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday.

The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) continues to sample private drinking water wells within a four-mile radius of the site for heavy metals. Results for 22 wells came back and all were within safe drinking water standards. Department personnel were in the field on Monday identifying sample locations for ash and soil from the affected area. Sample collection will begin as quickly as weather conditions allow. All results from TDEC sampling will be posted at www.tn.gov/environment.exit EPA disclaimer

EPA continues to provide independent air monitoring and oversight of response activities, as well as assist TDEC and TVA in implementing a centralized data management system. EPA will conduct all actions necessary to ensure the protection of public welfare and the environment. TVA has taken full responsibility for the cleanup and engaged the necessary resources to contain and cleanup the fly ash release.

EPA is posting data as it becomes available at http://www.epaosc.org/doc_list.asp?site_id=4642

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January 4, 2009

EPA has collected 64 samples to date. These include fly ash samples (two on site and one off site); surface water and soil samples from along the Clinch and Emory River shorelines; surface water intakes and finished water samples from the Cumberland, Rockwood and Kingston Water Treatment Plants (WTPs); and four private drinking water wells located near the TVA Kingston Plant. The ash and soil samples were submitted to an off site laboratory for analysis and revealed arsenic levels ranging from 1.34 mg/kg to 81 mg/kg. The WTP intake and finished water samples and private drinking water well samples were submitted to EPA's laboratory in Athens, Georgia. There were no constituents of concern detected above the federal drinking water standards in those water samples.

EPA, utilizing portable handheld particulate air monitoring equipment, provided real time air monitoring for particulates on and off site near the ash removal operations. To date, 77 readings have been recorded and results have ranged from 1.8 to 26.7 ug/m3. The National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) for PM 2.5 (24 hour sample) is 35 ug/m3 for 24 hours, and the NAAQS for PM 10 (24 hour sample) is 150 ug/m3 for 24 hours. EPA continues to evaluate TVA data on air monitoring.

TVA continues to manage river flows on the Clinch and Tennessee Rivers to minimize impact of the fly ash release to the Kingston WTP intake. The Kingston water intake is located on the Tennessee River approximately one half mile upstream of the confluence of the Tennessee and Clinch Rivers. Rock weir construction by TVA has been completed on the Emory River to minimize sediment flow downstream.

The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) has collected approximately 40 residential well samples. Under an agreement between TDEC and TVA, TVA agreed to provide the funding of all analytical costs associated with sampling residential wells. TDEC also sampled the water intake and the finished water from the Kingston and Rockwood WTPs. All results from TDEC sampling will be posted at www.tn.gov/environment.exit EPA disclaimer

EPA continues to provide independent air monitoring and oversight of response activities, as well as assist TDEC and TVA in implementing a centralized data management system. EPA will conduct all actions necessary to ensure the protection of public welfare and the environment. TVA has taken full responsibility for the cleanup and engaged the necessary resources to contain and cleanup the fly ash release.

EPA is posting data as it becomes available at http://www.epaosc.org/doc_list.asp?site_id=4642

Additional Water Sample Results Indicate Municipal Drinking Water Continues to be Safe; New EPA Data Released for TVA Kingston Fly Ash Release [PDF, 2pp., 60K]

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January 2, 2009

Sampling Results Posted for Surface Water and Sediment Sampling Events on 12/23/08.

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December 31, 2008

EPA, in coordination with the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) and the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency, continues to provide support and oversight of TVA activities at the TVA Kingston Fly Ash Release. TVA operations continue and include clearing ash from the impacted roadway and railroad spur; construction of a weir system to control water flow into the plant’s river water intake and help reduce the potential risk of fly ash migration into the Emory and Clinch Rivers during rain events; removal of general debris from fly ash-impacted areas; and replacement of damaged water lines.

EPA continues to sample drinking water wells, municipal water intakes, soils, and water and sediment in the Clinch and Emory Rivers. Both EPA and TVA are conducting monitoring for levels of fly ash in the air, with EPA monitoring on-site and TVA monitoring on and off-site.

TVA continues to monitor municipal water intakes and fly ash material. TDEC will begin sampling drinking water wells on December 30, 2008 and continues to monitor surface water. TDEC is also involved in ensuring the interim and permanent disposal of the fly ash material is conducted in a safe and appropriate manner.

A hotline for health effects information has been established by the Tennessee Department of Health, in consultation with the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry at (800) 404-3006.

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December 28, 2008

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 4 continues to assist in Harriman, Tennessee as part of the Unified Command response operation for the TVA Kingston Fossil Plant fly ash release. Unified Command consists of EPA, the Roane County Emergency Management Agency (EMA), Tennessee EMA, the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, and the Tennessee Valley Authority. It is estimated that approximately 5.4 million cubic yards of fly ash and water were released on to land adjacent to the plant and into the nearby Clinch and Emory Rivers on Monday, December 22, 2008. The initial release of materials from the plant’s retention pond created a tidal wave of water and ash which destroyed several homes and ruptured a major gas line in a neighborhood located adjacent to the plant.

EPA continues to assist in monitoring response operations and reviewing sampling data by TVA. EPA initiated a sampling program on December 23, 2008, which included surface water, sediment and fly ash. Samples were submitted to a laboratory for analysis of total and dissolved metals and total suspended solids.

Current environmental data from surface water sampling indicates that several heavy metals are present in the surface water slightly above drinking water standards in the area of the spill, but not in the area of the Kingston water supply intake. Drinking water standards are designed to be conservative, and results to date are below concentrations EPA knows to be harmful to humans. One sample of river water out of numerous samples taken indicated an elevated level of arsenic, however arsenic has been found to be naturally occurring in the environment and further investigation is in progress. Arsenic was not detected in samples taken close to the Kingston Water Intake. Unless people regularly drink untreated river water, the arsenic should not cause any adverse health effects. Surface water sample results in the area of the drinking water intakes did not indicate standards exceedances, but sampling will continue.

EPA and the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation continue to sample drinking water wells, municipal water, soils, river water and river sediment. Response officials are currently evaluating the potential for health effects associated with dust from dry fly ash material, and both EPA and TVA have begun monitoring for levels of fly ash in the air.

TVA continues to manage the river flows of the Clinch and Tennessee Rivers to minimize the possibility of water from the plant flowing past the Kingston water supply intake and continues the removal of displaced fly ash.

A hotline for health effects information is being established by the Tennessee Department of Health, in consultation with the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. The hotline should be operational on December 29, 2008.

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December 24, 2008

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Region 4, is currently on scene in Harriman, Tennessee as part of the Unified Command response operation for the TVA Kingston Fossil Plant fly ash release. Unified Command consists of EPA, the Roane County Emergency Management Agency (EMA), Tennessee EMA, the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, Tennessee Department of Health, the U.S. Coast Guard and the Tennessee Valley Authority. It is estimated that approximately 3.1 million cubic feet of fly ash and water were released on to land adjacent to the plant and into the nearby Clinch and Emory Rivers on Monday, December 22, 2008. The initial release of materials from the plant’s retention pond created a tidal wave of water and ash which destroyed several homes and ruptured a major gas line in a neighborhood located adjacent to the plant.

EPA continues to assist in a supporting role and monitor response operations by TVA. EPA has conducted an aerial survey of the plant holding pond and downstream of the Clinch River to Watts Bar Lake. The fly ash release appears to be confined to the immediate area located along the north and northwest area of the holding pond.

TVA conducted water quality sampling on Monday, December 22 2008, and the report will be reviewed by Unified Command. EPA initiated a sampling program on December 23, 2008 which included an area approximately one mile upstream of the release area on the Clinch River to the downstream area approximately five miles, ending at the City of Kingston, Tenn. main water intake. In addition to water sampling, fly ash samples were also collected at the point of release. Samples were submitted to an EPA-approved laboratory for total and dissolved metals and total suspended solids. Efforts are underway to report final sampling results to the public as soon as possible.

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