East Tennessee Ignored by the EPA
Remember the coal ash spill disaster of 2008 “when 1 billion gallons of toxic sludge broke out of TVA’s Kingston facility and flooded across towns, fields and waterways in Kingston and Harriman in Roane County, covering 300 acres with toxic coal ash waste and literally lifting entire homes off their foundations?”
The good news is that the EPA has scheduled seven hearings to help with creating a process to “adopt rules to regulate the disposal of coal ash — the impetus for which was the catastrophic Kingston rupture.”
The bad news is that not one of the hearings will be held near Roane County. The closest is in Charlotte, N.C. (5 hours away by car).
Never the kind to sit around waiting for stuff to happen, the people of East Tennessee have formed the Citizens’ Coal Ash Hearing Committee (made up of a group of committed organizations from the area), and have scheduled their own hearing Thursday, 9/2, at 5:30 p.m. at Roane State Community College (276 Patton Lane, Harriman, Tenn. 37748). Representatives write about it in today’s Tennessean:
The committee consists of several environmental justice organizations — Statewide Organizing for Community eMpowerment (SOCM), the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, Tennessee Clean Water Network, Tennessee Chapter of the Sierra Club, Tennessee Environmental Council, Tennessee Interfaith Power & Light, Roane County Concerned Citizens, Cumberland Stewards, United Mountain Defense, and the Scott County Environmental Coalition.
We are not organizing this people’s hearing to champion a particular outcome. We only aim to ensure a fair and comprehensive rulemaking process in which EPA can hear every voice, including yours.
We will have an official court reporter, and all testimony at the people’s hearing will be submitted to EPA as a comprehensive transcript.
Our organizations are asking that concerned people in our area attend this people’s hearing, bring along friends and family, and tell anyone in the Roane County area that they have not been forgotten.