TVA states in the filing that the Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM) submitted a notice of breach and a planned consent order April 3, 2009 that charges a $25,000 fine against TVA for the spill at Widows Creek.

The consent order enables TVA to follow certain rules for addressing the violations without more stern court action or enforcement. It also entails the utility to issue engineering reports on coal-ash ponds located at Widows Creek and its Colbert station present in northwest Alabama.

As per the filing, TVA has requested to consult with ADEM regarding the order.

TVA stated to the SEC that it could be compelled to make significant alterations or phase out coal-ash ponds. The agency stated that the modifications could entail it to spend large sums of money to revamp the waste ponds to integrate objects such as groundwater monitoring systems, leachate collection systems and composite liners.

TVA spokesman Gil Francis asserted that TVA is incurring high costs to erect air-pollution equipment at coal-fired plants such as Widows Creek because of a federal lawsuit.

District Judge Lacy Thornburg ruled in Asheville, North Carolina in January, 2009 that emissions from the agency’s coal-fired stations in Alabama and Tennessee were causing problems for North Carolina residents. He instructed TVA to erect equipment at Widows Creek and three east Tennessee stations, including in Kingston, in four years time to decrease nitrogen oxides.

Francis stated that TVA is examining the cost of renovating a power station constructed in the 1950s and 1960s and whether it can fulfill the target or whether it would be more economical to shut it down.