Judge: TVA liable for massive Tenn. coal ash spill

By The Associated Press

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — A federal judge has ruled that the Tennessee Valley Authority is liable for a huge spill of toxin-laden sludge in 2008 in East Tennessee.

The judge ruled Thursday in favor of hundreds of plaintiffs who sued after a containment dike at TVA’s Kingston Fossil Plant burst on Dec. 22, 2008. The failure spilled 5 million cubic yards of ash into a river and spoiled hundreds of acres in a riverside community 35 miles west of Knoxville.

U.S. District Court Judge Thomas Varlan said in a written opinion that TVA was negligent in its conduct and will be liable for damages to be determined later.

TVA is continuing a $1.2 billion cleanup of the spill the Environmental Protection Agency described as one of the worst environmental disasters of its kind.