The failure was not instantaneous, but “a progressive sequence of ruptures over a period of approximately one hour.” The rupture released the 5.4 million cubic yards of fly ash and dike material on December 22, 2008 into the Emory River.
So what has happened this year. Amazingly, an army of 400-500 workers have removed two-thirds of the spill material from the river and are overall halfway through the $1-billion cleanup. However, the removal of all material may not be completed until 2013.
Pretty dramatic aerial footage comparing last year to this past December. View it Here.
As a result of the spill, EPA will be issuing new regulations for handling coal-ash waste nationwide. TVA will be eliminating all wet ash and gypsum storage from its facilities. Learn how they are removing the fly ash from the river.