12-28-08: UMD Saturates Kingston Public Meeting

Dear folks,

Volunteers for United Mountain Defense handed out flyers announcing the Public Meeting that was scheduled to happen in Kingston, TN at 4:30pm. We also distributed copies of Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) dealing with different grades of coal ash. The information contained on these Safety sheets suggests that as this coal ash dries out and becomes more airborne that everyone should wear single or double filter respirators. Also each house should have a HEPA filter and change the filter once a week. United Mountain Defense volunteers were reporting having soar throats at the end of the day today after being in the disaster zone all day. We will be purchasing respirators for our ground crews. It will be an interesting day as we deliver MSDS information to local residents while wearing lung protection. United Mountain Defense volunteers continued to deliver clean bottled water to residents on Swan Pond Rd.

Many residents orginally stated that they either didn’t know about the public meeting or weren’t planning on attending until United Mountain Defense volunteers delivered an annoucement flyer.

United Mountain Defense volunteers arrived an hour before the meeting in an effort to set out free informational materials dealing with the coal ash. The meeting got so large that we had to move across the street to the high school gym. Once inside United Mountain Defense volunteers set up a slide projector which continuously scrolled more than 120 photos taken by the Hurricane Creek River Keeper John L. Wathen taken from the Emory River where the coal ash spill was migrating into the river. We also saturated the audience with free safety information.

The meeting was called by the city of Kingston and many of the directly impacted residents live in Harriman. Once we arrived at the meeting we were informed that Kingston residents would take priority over other speakers. Of course the most directly impacted residents of Harriman felt their concerns were taking a back burner. United Mountain Defense had cameras rolling and recorded the entire meeting. There were many concerned residents with some very fiery speeches.

Here is what TVA said they would do for impacted residents:

  • TVA promised to pay for testing of anyone’s well water in the area of the coal ash disaster.
  • TVA promised to hold one or more public meetings about a new coal ash waste gypsum storage facility that is being built very near the disaster site.

  • TVA agreed to have an independent design assessment team look over the designs of this new waste storage area.
  • TVA agreed to independent surveys of all of their ash ponds.
  • TVA promised to install sprinklers at anyone’s property to help keep the coming ash dust down around impacted residents homes.
  • TVA promised to install fencing along water ways and the sludge disaster area to keep children and pets out of the area.

After the meeting there was an informal question session and I had the chance to ask about the two unsafe levels of contaminants found in drinking water according to TDEC sampling. I asked this question to a Kingston City Council member and to Tom Kilgore TVA’s CEO. Kilgore looked as white as a sheet after having to dish out the company line for more than 3 hours and wasn’t in any state to answer my question. I decided to call TDEC for more info today. I have a call back pending.

Thanks for your work and time. We are very busy here in the ground. United Mountain Defense is a 501c3 non profit. We need funds for copies, bottled water, gas, and to help charge up the cell phone.

If you can make a donation go our website at www.unitedmountaindefense.org or send a check to United Mountain Defense P.O. Box 20363 Knoxville, TN 37920

Thank you for your time.

Till then , Matt Landon full time volunteer staff person for United Mountain Defense

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