Tenn. gov. promises more oversight of ash ponds

KINGSTON, Tenn. (AP) -- Tennessee's governor promises greater oversight of coal ash retention ponds after touring damage from a 1-billion-gallon spill.

Gov. Phil Bredesen said Wednesday he had no complaints with the Tennessee Valley Authority, which operates the Kingston power plant where a pond burst last week and poured ashy sludge over 300 acres and into a river.

But Bredesen vowed state environmental regulators will be "looking over their shoulder."

Bredesen said the state is launching immediate inspections of all other TVA retention ponds and a review of regulations for the ponds.

The state will conduct daily tests of water sources for the cities of Kingston and Rockwood until the threat of contamination from arsenic and heavy metals in the sludge has passed.

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