"It was a 'catastrophe,"' Tom Kilgore said, contradicting an internal TVA memo obtained by The Associated Press in which the description of the disaster was changed from "catastrophic" to a "sudden, accidental" release.
"As I have told people, look at the second definition of the word 'catastrophe,"' Kilgore said. "It says, 'A sudden movement of large earth.' That is certainly what this was."
The TVA memo was also edited to remove "risk to public health and risk to the environment" as a reason for measuring water quality and the potential of an "acute threat" to fish.