Kingston Ash Release
As the Tennessee Valley Authority works with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) to cleanup and restore the area surrounding the Kingston Fossil Plant, we recognize the opportunity the project provides to contribute to the academic and personal growth of local students. So, TVA designed an Educational Initiative to inform students about the science and ongoing monitoring required. By sharing the facts and science of the spill, as well as knowledge and skills, TVA is providing students information that may be useful to students should they pursue careers in the science and/or engineering fields.
The information was offered to the schools in three separate sessions and presented to more than 1,000 students at three high schools in Roane County. The sessions were designed to teach students about the cause of the spill; describe the immediate response and on-going efforts to repair the damage; and explain the engineering and scientific disciplines involved in the cleanup and in the environmental and biological testing that will take place for years to come.
The first session provided expert analysis of how and why the spill occurred, and the response actions taken over the first few days after the spill. Emergency response and engineering solutions were highlighted to try to give the students a better understanding of what took place in the first critical hours following the spill.
The second session focused on the effort to extract more than three million cubic yards of fly ash from the Emory River in a very short span of time, and the accompanying air and water testing that took place, and continues to take place, on and around the project site. The students participated in hands-on lessons about elements that affect their daily lives, the air they breathe and the water they drink.
The third session focused on the testing and monitoring of wildlife, fish and benthic invertebrates that make up part of the ecological food chain. Students learned about various animals, fish and bugs that surround them and the different scientific disciplines environmental scientists use when interacting with living creatures as part of their jobs.
TVA believes that education plays an important role in developing the future workforce. Working with local students in scientific and engineering areas of interest may foster careers and aid in their meeting the State of Tennessee curriculum requirements. It takes a team of experts in many fields to accomplish the successful completion of any environmental restoration project. TVA hopes the Educational Initiative helps this future generation better understand the event that occurred in Roane County, and encourages students to consider engineering and science career fields that are playing a major role in restoring their home territory to its original beauty.