NASHVILLE (WATE) - The Tennessee Valley Authority has been handed a bill for $11.5 million in penalties by the state Department of Environment and Conservation because of the 2008 coal ash spill at TVA's Kingston Fossil Plant.
TDEC said the fines were due to violations of the Tennessee Water Quality Control Act and the Tennessee Solid Waste Disposal Act.
The penalties follow an emergency order TDEC issued in January 2009, shortly after the ash spill that destroyed homes and polluted the Emory River.
The emergency order called for TVA to stabilize and remediate the river and properties that surround the Kingston plant. That order remains in effect.
"These are appropriate penalties in response to an unprecedented event," said TDEC Commissioner Jim Fyke in a prepared statement released Monday.
TVA is ordered to pay the penalties in installments, starting with a $2.5 million payment by July 15.
The order requires TVA to make additional payments through 2012, as well as propose and provide for projects that benefit the environment.
TVA released a statement saying the agency remains committed to cleaning up the ash spill.
TVA Senior Vice President, Environment and Technology Anda Ray is quoted in the statement, saying, "We appreciate the comprehensive oversight that the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation has provided, and we will continue to seek the department's review and guidance to restore the area and protect public health."
So far, TVA has paid $3 million to reimburse the state's oversight of the ash spill cleanup.
TVA must continue to pay for oversight costs, which are not covered in the $11.5 million penalty assessment.
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