12-29-08: UMD, national media Southwings flyover

Dear folks,



It seems that some of the national media has finally gotten back from Christmas break. United Mountain Defense volunteers helped connect these national media sources with local residents who wanted to share their stories. We met with ABC, Truthout.org, GQ, and the Appalachian PBS series. United Mountain Defense volunteers performed water monitoring tests during the television interviews.

So after the first week of TVA’s Coal Ash Disaster the local residents are not much better off than when this first happened. Yesterday’s emergency public meeting in Kingston left many of the most directly affected Harriman community members without time to voice their concerns. And TVA has still not spoken with many of the most impacted residents.

United Mountain Defense volunteers videotaped an hour of interviews with local coal impacted residents. Our volunteers took sludge samples near Lakeshore Drive. Our volunteers also gathered samples of dead fish and other freshwater organisms to turn into a local laboratory. The Geiger counter that we used showed one reading of 130 CPM.

We noticed that the coal ash is beginning to dry out with cracks forming in some areas. We witnessed a live carp in a shallow pool of water on the edge of the coal ash.

United Mountain Defense volunteers wore dust masks throughout the day in order to protect our lungs and provide a model for how local residents could help protect themselves as well.

Tomorrow’s plan of action is to deliver more bottled water, deliver more educational materials to impacted residents, gather more water/ coal sludge samples, and continue to educate the media about TVA’s coal ash disaster. We hope to establish a local free bottled water distribution center as well.

This report is from a United Mountain Defense volunteer who went on a flyover with South Wings.

Monday December 29th 2008

Rockwood Municipal Airport Rockwood, TN

To whom it may concern,

At 9:45am this morning I arrived at the Rockwood Municipal Airport to attend a flyover of the contaminated area of Harriman and Kingston, Tennessee.
I met a resident of Swan Pond Circle Dr, and spoke with him for sometime about his time growing up and living in the area.

The fly over went well, for the most part. I met with two ABC Channel 6 news representatives at a little after 1pm and boarded the plane.
We passed over the Kingston coal plant 4 times if I remember correctly. I gathered about 6 minutes of footage while making occasional comments and answering questions for the news team.

Thank you Southwings!


Here’s how you can help. If you are a Roane county resident and would like to volunteer please contact us at 865 689 2778. If you are a resident who has been impacted by the coal ash disaster please contact us as well.

United Mountain Defense is a 501c3 non profit. We are an all volunteer run organization. If you want to help from your home feel free to do a fundraiser where you live. We need money for bottled water, copies of outreach materials, gasoline, and laboratory work for water quality sampling. You can mail checks to United Mountain Defense P.O. Box 20363 Knoxville, TN 37920 OR use the PayPal account on our website: www.unitedmountaindefense.org

Thank you, Matt Landon full time volunteer staff person United Mountain Defense

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