Roane County residents question TVA answers on ash spill

Roane County residents question TVA answers on ash spill

Posted:
"Mrs. Coffman actually has one of our air monitors in her yard. All of our data indicates the air quality in her yard is well below EPA standards," says Don Houston, air programs manager for TVA. "Mrs. Coffman actually has one of our air monitors in her yard. All of our data indicates the air quality in her yard is well below EPA standards," says Don Houston, air programs manager for TVA.
"I don't give a darn if it is below the standards. It may be below the standards, but this isn't healthy," says Una Coffman, of the coal dust on her patio furniture. "I don't give a darn if it is below the standards. It may be below the standards, but this isn't healthy," says Una Coffman, of the coal dust on her patio furniture.

By JILL MCNEAL
6 News Anchor/Reporter

HARRIMAN (WATE) -- Roane County residents worried about the aftermath aftermath of the ash spill at the Kingston Fossil Plant had another chance to talk to TVA officials Monday evening at an open house.  

TVA officials say they're making a lot of progress on the clean-up, showing pictures of Swan Pond Circle, previously covered with fly ash. It's now rebuilt and it was re-opened last week.

But people in the area say they have new concerns.

Una Coffman, who's lived across the Clinch River from the Kingston plant for the last 37 years, says black coal dust is now covering her patio furniture.

"It's blowing off the mounds of coal," Coffman says.

TVA officials say because of the spill, they now have less land to stack the unused coal on and so each pile has to be taller. But they say there's no health hazard.

"Mrs. Coffman actually has one of our air monitors in her yard. All of our data indicates the air quality in her yard is well below EPA standards," says Don Houston, air programs manager for TVA.

"I don't give a darn if it is below the standards. It may be below the standards, but this isn't healthy. It's not healthy to breath it and it's not healthy to have it all over you if you go outside to sit down on the furniture," Coffman says.

She adds that the only thing she can do now is wait and see what happens next.

"I'm sure they're going to be very stringent in what they do down there, but you lose a certain amount of confidence," Coffman says.

She's also worried about swimming in the Clinch River this summer.

Neil Carriker, TVA's environmental leader on the recovery effort, says there's no problem with the water and he would feel safe swimming there, except after a rain, which can contaminate any body of water.  

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