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TWRA Response Concerning Ash Release From Kingston Steam Plant

View of the ash debris from the Kingston ash release. The Kingston Steam Plant can be seen in the background.

The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA) has been involved in response activities including assessment of the initial impact to wildlife resources, public safety and boating, and initiating sampling to track long-term effect on wildlife and habitat since the massive release of fly ash on Dec. 22, 2008. The release came from the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) Kingston Steam Plant on Watts Bar Reservoir.

The Kingston Steam Plant is located on a peninsula where the Emory River joins the Clinch River on Watts Bar Reservoir. This area is popular for fishing, boating and wildlife viewing.

Beginning the week of Jan. 5, TWRA has been collecting bass and catfish and comparing fish tissue results to existing data for those species. TWRA expects to resample on a semiannual basis. Assessment of the impact of this release on wildlife resources and habitat will require repeated sampling and evaluation over the next three to five years.

TWRA will coordinate with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and other resource agencies to assess the long-term impact of contaminants on other wildlife resources in the area including mammals, bird life, and aquatic species.