TVA Reports Significant Progress With Property Purchases Near Kingston Plant
April 10, 2009
The Tennessee Valley Authority announced today that it has made significant progress in purchasing properties that were affected by the Dec. 22, 2008 ash spill at its Kingston Fossil Plant and subsequent cleanup activities.
More than 70 properties located near the Kingston plant have now been purchased by TVA. Most of the properties are in the immediate vicinity of the spill site and recovery activities or are adjacent to the Emory River and embayments near the plant.
“We appreciate the patience of all Roane County property owners who have worked with us to report and process information concerning their property,” said Peyton Hairston, TVA senior vice president, Corporate Responsibility & Diversity. “While the disruption and inconvenience of the past several months cannot be un-done, our property purchase program is an important step in TVA’s commitment to fairly compensate those most affected by the ash spill.”
The 70-plus pieces of property that TVA has purchased to date range in size from less than one-quarter acre to more than 20 acres.
Local residents who expressed an interest in having their property purchased by TVA because of the spill, but whose property was not in the immediate vicinity, will be informed this week of TVA’s decision.
About The Property Purchase Program
Once the impacted residents’ immediate needs were met, TVA immediately began developing and refining a process to compensate residents whose real property was in the immediate vicinity and was affected by the spill or would be substantially impacted by the extensive site recovery operations. Since the spill, TVA’s community outreach team has listened to and worked with local residents in order to arrange for providing compensation in appropriate cases.
Several considerations and priorities have guided TVA in determining whether property might qualify for purchase or spill-related compensation. In general, property that was affected by the spill and therefore qualified for close consideration is either real property in the immediate vicinity that was impacted by the Dec. 22 ash spill or property that would be significantly impacted by TVA’s ongoing site recovery and restoration efforts.
Although property it acquires will be exempt from normal property taxes because TVA is a federal agency, TVA has already said Roane County government will be compensated for the tax-related impact on its budget.
About The Ash Spill
The Dec. 22, 2008 ash spill at TVA’s Kingston Fossil Plant involved more than five million cubic yards of coal ash that was released from the containment area when a dike failed. The coal ash covered more than 300 acres of property, including about 8 acres of privately-owned property.
Since the spill, TVA has planned and is implementing a rigorous clean-up and site restoration effort. The process includes on-going air and water sampling designed to ensure that the clean-up effort does not present safety or health hazards to near-by residents or workers. The clean-up and environmental monitoring processes are being developed and undertaken in coordination with state and federal authorities.
Beginning the night of the spill, TVA provided services and direct assistance to several families, with help ranging from temporary housing, meals and sundries, to prepaid temporary cell phones for those whose phone service was disrupted by the event. TVA’s purchase of properties in the immediate vicinity of the spill and recovery operations areas is part of its continuing efforts to fairly address the impacts of the spill upon the residents most affected by the event.
TVA, a corporate agency of the United States, is the nation’s largest public power provider and is completely self-financing. TVA provides power to large industries and 158 power distributors that serve approximately nine million consumers in seven southeastern states. TVA also manages the Tennessee River and its tributaries to provide multiple benefits, including flood damage reduction, navigation, water quality and recreation.
Gil Francis, Knoxville (865) 632-8031
TVA News Bureau, Knoxville, (865) 632-6000