Expert testifies coal ash in first spill site dike

By The Associated Press

KNOXVILLE — A plaintiff’s expert at the trial on lawsuits seeking damages from the Tennessee Valley Authority’s coal ash spill has testified that his review of records shows the first dike at the Kingston Plant was supposed to be built of compacted earth but also contained coal ash.

B. Dan Marks testified Wednesday that having coal ash in the dike resulted in a weak, soft foundation.

About 230 plaintiffs are suing TVA over the Dec. 22, 2008, spill that dumped 5.4 million cubic yards of coal ash into the Emory River and the surrounding countryside.

The Knoxville News Sentinel reported Marks’s testimony that not building the initial dike for the coal ash impoundment area as planned compounded problems as TVA built additional stages of the facility.