Testimony Ends At TVA Coal Ash Spill Trial - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Testimony Ends At TVA Coal Ash Spill Trial

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Testimony has ended at a Knoxville trial over the Tennessee Valley Authority's 2008 coal ash spill that fouled a river and waterfront community.

The chief investigator for the TVA inspector general was among the last witnesses Tuesday. Gregory Stinson testified that an engineering consultant who conducted a $3 million study of the spill told investigators he was directed by TVA not to "judge TVA employees and contractors" in determining what caused a coal ash storage pond dike to give way.

Consultant William H. Walton testified earlier that his mission was to find and report the technical cause of failure. His study concluded that a deep slime layer in the Kingston power plant pond caused the collapse.

Attorneys for property owners contend TVA negligence in training, operations and construction caused the December 2008 disaster.

Walton, who testified he has been paid $180,000 to testify as an expert for TVA, said a deep slime layer caused the 5.4 million cubic yards of sludge to spill into the Emory River and onto surrounding property in the community west of Knoxville.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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