STP1554

    The Evaluation and Selection of Coal Ash Delineation Methodologies in Response to the TVA Coal Ash Release

    Published: Nov 2012


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    Abstract

    On Dec. 22, 2008, a coal fly ash spill occurred at the Tennessee Valley Authority's (TVA's) Kingston Fossil Plant, allowing a large amount of fly ash to escape into the adjacent waters of the Emory River. A dike failure released approximately 5.4 × 106 yd3 of coal ash that covered approximately 300 acres and affected about 40 area homes. In addition, a section of the Emory River channel was blocked by released ash. In response to the impoundment failure event, TVA initiated comprehensive measures to assess and delineate the extent of the fly ash release to the Emory, Clinch, and Tennessee River Systems. One measure was to develop and implement a quality assurance (QA) program to ensure the generation of high-quality, defensible data for use in decision making and regulatory compliance. In order to rapidly delineate the distribution of released coal fly ash within these river systems, the QA team evaluated various coal ash delineation and assessment methodologies, developed standard operating procedures for implementation, and audited sampling methods in order to ensure compliance with procedures and document the advantages and disadvantages of each technology employed. The quantitative and qualitative coal ash delineation methodologies employed include sub-bottom profiling and bathymetric mapping, visual and manual sediment inspection, sediment sampling for laboratory analysis, x-ray fluorescence analysis, and polarized light microscopy analysis. A review of the impact the QA program has had on the determination of the most effective coal ash delineation technologies is presented.

    Keywords:

    coal, ash, delineation, quality assurance


    Author Information:

    Hawk, Christopher K.
    Environmental Standards, Inc., Valley Forge, PA

    Kraycik, Joseph P.
    Environmental Standards, Inc., Valley Forge, PA

    Vitale, Rock J.
    Environmental Standards, Inc., Valley Forge, PA

    Rogers, William J.
    Tennessee Valley Authority, Harriman, TN

    Lee, K. C. P.
    Tennessee Valley Authority, Harriman, TN

    Gassaway, Katie
    Tennessee Valley Authority, Harriman, TN


    Paper ID: STP104212

    Committee/Subcommittee: D18.25

    DOI: 10.1520/STP104212


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