Study on Tenn. coal ash disaster being released

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - A consultant's report on the cause of a massive coal ash spill in Tennessee is being released Thursday at Tennessee Valley Authority headquarters in Knoxville.

The analysis by engineering consultant Bill Walton comes six months after the disaster at TVA's Kingston Fossil Plant about 40 miles west of Knoxville.

TVA is paying for the study. But a panel of federal and state regulatory experts will be reviewing it. So will lawyers suing TVA on behalf of hundreds of residents.

More than 5 million cubic yards of coal ash breached an earthen dike at Kingston on Dec. 22, sending a wave of toxic-laden ash and sludge into the Emory River and 26 lakeside homes, covering 300 acres.

TVA expects the cleanup could cost as much as $1 billion.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.