UPDATE: TVA hit with $11.5 million penalty for ash spill

CHATTANOOGA — The Tennessee Valley Authority has been hit with civil penalties totaling $11.5 million for the December 2008 coal ash spill at the utility’s Kingston plant.

Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation officials announced the penalty Monday, saying it is for violations of the Tennessee Water Quality Control Act and the Tennessee Solid Waste Disposal Act.

TDEC Commissioner Jim Fyke said in a statement that the spill is an “unprecedented event” and the penalties indicate the site had been stabilized.

TVA said in a statement that the utility will obey the order and remains “fully committed to a complete cleanup of the Kingston ash spill.”

The Environmental Protection Agency did not immediately answer an e-mail message seeking comment.

The Associated Press

Click video to hear audio