TVA Spreads Millions of Tons of Coal Ash

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Long before a coal ash spill flooded a
rural Tennessee neighborhood, the Tennessee Valley Authority was
spreading million of tons of waste byproducts from its coal-fired
power plants across the landscape - in the form of recycled
building materials.

Mike Sutton, who heads TVA's coal byproducts marketing group, says the nation's largest public utility sells about a third of the 7 million tons of fly ash, bottom ash, gypsum and boiler slag its 11 coal plants produce each year. Another 20 percent goes to construction projects on TVA sites.

TVA's coal ash has become concrete for roads, bridges and buildings; roofing shingles; road surfacing; and wall board.

But that still leaves more than 3 million tons a year accumulating at TVA plants.

And a massive coal ash spill at the Kingston Fossil Plant on Dec. 22 has TVA looking for more options, including discussions with Tennessee transportation officials about greater use in highway projects.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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