KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- The tab for a toxin-laden ash flood in Tennessee could reach hundreds of millions of dollars, although the costs of the cleanup, legal damages and changes in ash disposal methods are just beginning to be tallied.
The Tennessee Valley Authority has put more than 200 employees and contractors with heavy equipment into the field since the dike broke Dec. 22 at the Kingston Fossil Plant in Harriman.
Already 230 families have asked for help, including some who have joined a pending environmentalist lawsuit against the agency.
TVA Chairman Bill Sansom said the total cost isn't known. But he is aware of a spill in Pennsylvannia in 2005 that was only a fraction of the size and cost $37 million to clean up.
Sansom said these costs eventually will be passed to TVA ratepayers. The self-financing government agency has no plans to seek a Washington bailout.
(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)