12-27-08: UMD at Kingston Public Meeting – TVA Coal Ash Spill

Dear folks,

UMD volunteers detained

United Mountain Defense volunteers spent yesterday Dec 27, 2008 delivering Material Safety Data Sheets about fly ash and announcements about the Public Meeting in Kingston to the coal impacted citizens around TVA’s coal ash spill site. We also mobilized volunteers from the Hurricane Creek Keeper of Tuscaloosa, AL and Upper Watauga River Keeper of Boone, NC to paddle up the river and gather samples of river water, sludge, and document all the impacts they could see. While in route they were interviewed by a New York Times reporter in a bass boat. They are sending their samples to a Toxicity Lab at Appalachian State University and are hoping to get the results back on Tuesday. After the flotilla scanned the area for no trespassing/warning/danger signs, which they could not find, they paddled directly into TVA’s coal ash spill area. They observed TVA damming the river with large rip rap, rocks. There are rumors that TVA may be re- routing the river around this dam, potentially turning this river section into a MASSIVE slurry pond. Of course once the paddlers made it to the disaster site they could not be accessed by the motorized boats of the TVA or local police due to the shallow water level. Upon completion of gathering samples the three paddlers surrendered to TVA police and received warning citations for trespassing and were set free. The immediate tests they took showed the highest conductivity level of 209 at the coal ash spill site. The conductivity level further down river was 80. At another site on the Lakeshore Rd in the inlet the conductivity reading was over 300. Conductivity shows the amount of dissolved metals or salt in the water and the preliminary results we found were not outside of the acceptable range. United Mountain Defense has also sent off the chilled water samples from Day 1-Day 5 to local labs for testing. Look for their video to be posted on the Appalachian Voices website soon.

We just learned last night on the local news the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation stated their water tests showed contaminant levels above safe limits in the drinking water. There was no info about what contaminants, whose drinking water, and what precautions to take. This is truly insane!

The on the ground situation is constantly changing here. There are numerous dump trucks driving very fast down these windy roads to deliver rip rap rock for the river dam. These trucks appear to be overloaded and overweight. United Mountain Defense still has a lot of outreach left to do. Right now the best thing that you can do is help raise funds or send resources for our ground work.

We need money for Sony Premium DVM 60 Digitial Mini Video Cassette Tapes, hundreds of copies @ .10 cents a piece, automobile gas, airplane gas for SouthWings flyovers, bottled water for impacted residents without clean water, recharging the cell phone for media work, and myriad of other expenses. Any help that you could offer would be greatly appreciated. United Mountain Defense is a 501c3 non profit. We are an all volunteer organization, we keep all receipts, and we will make your money stretch as far a possible.

Mail check or gear to P.O. Box 20363 Knoxville, TN 37920

Thank you, Matt Landon

Full time volunteer staff person for United Mountain Defense

The following has been posted to the http://www.roaneviews.com/

Dear Roane County Residents,

We are sorry this disaster has befallen your county. The volunteers of United Mountain Defense are so concerned about your safety that we have been on the ground since Day 1 recording digital video, taking photographs, gathering water/ sludge samples, and distributing bottled water. We have been handing out copies of TVA’s 2007 Kingston Plant Toxic Release Inventory, Material Safety Data Sheets for Coal Ash, and lists of chemicals that may be in the coal ash.

United Mountain Defense is providing free information to all concerned residents. All the information from the water samples we have gathered will be made available to you, the public. We will have slideshows of all our pictures and over 5 hours of video playing during the meeting for all to view. A picture is worth a thousand words and we have hundreds of high resolution pictures. We have also been in touch with other coal impacted communities that have dealt with coal ash spills in the past. These communities have wanted what every community wants, to feel safe and be safe, and to have access to all the information about the spill that may impact their friends, families, and local environment. Folks from the Forward Township in PA said they worked with the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, part of the Center for Disease Control. United Mountain Defense will help start this process by having a one signature per page petition available for residents to sign to begin the process.

United Mountain Defense has been working with coal impacted communities all over East TN and Appalachia since 2005. United Mountain Defense volunteers are trained to understand the importance of keeping your information SECRET and will not share your name or personal information with anyone without your permission. We can help get your UNCENSORED story out to the world. We are posting videos online at YouTube and photos on Photo bucket and Flickr. If you are a coal impacted citizen and would like to speak with us please call at 865 689 2778 or 865 257 4029.

You can check out our daily blog updates at dirtycoaltva.blogspot.com/

Also check out our website: www.unitedmountaindefense.org

Thank You, Good Luck,

Matt Landon full time volunteer staff person United Mountain Defense

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