Judge OKs Tennessee Valley Authority settlement with victims of 2008 Kingston coal ash spill

A federal judge has approved an agreement by the nation's largest public utility to pay $27.8 million to settle claims from Tennessee property owners who suffered damages from a huge spill of toxin-laden coal ash sludge in 2008.

U.S. District Court Judge Thomas Varlan approved the settlement on Monday.

The spill happened when a containment dike burst at the Tennessee Valley Authority's Kingston Fossil Plant, releasing more than 5 million cubic yards of ash from a storage pond. The sludge flowed into a river and spoiled hundreds of acres in a riverside community 35 miles west of Knoxville.

Varlan ruled in 2012 that TVA was liable for the spill. The settlement is with more than 800 property owners.