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Tennessee Officials Fine TVA $11 Million Over 2008 Coal-Ash Pollution Incident

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The Tennessee Dept. of Environment and Conservation on June 15 assessed a $11.5-million fine against the Tennessee Valley Authority in connection with the December 2008 spill that released 5.4 million cu yds of coal ash from TVA’s Kingston, Tenn., coal-fired plant onto surrounding land and into the Emory River. The fine is the first against the federal power-marketing agency since the accident, but TVA will receive a $3-million credit for remediation already performed. Cleanup could cost $1.2 billion. Under the state fine, TVA will perform supplemental environmental projects totaling $2 million. The remainder will be earmarked for the state’s solid-waste and water-quality-control funds. TVA’s first payment of $2 million is due on July 15, 2011. Fines and cleanup costs will be paid for over the next 15 years from TVA revenue. The state still is assessing natural-resource damage from the spill and could levy additional fines, says a spokeswoman. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says it will fine TVA if the agency violates terms of the cleanup order signed last year.

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