East Tennessee Ignored by the EPA

August 30, 2010 by  
Filed under Environment, Recent Blog Posts

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.

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