Federal utility eyes removal of coal ash from Memphis plant

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A federal utility is eying options to unearth and move toxin-laden coal ash from a Memphis power plant to an off-site landfill.

A new Tennessee Valley Authority report rules out options at the Allen Fossil Plant that would leave the 3.5 million cubic yards of coal ash where it currently is.

The authority wrote that the land, which is owned by local governments and the International Port of Memphis, could house future economic development.

High levels of arsenic and other toxins were found in Allen monitoring wells in 2017, spurring fears that an aquifer could be tainted. Testing has since deemed the public water supply unaffected.

A decision on coal ash removal hinges on a federal review and an ongoing state investigation.

Allen’s three coal-fired units were retired last March.

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