TVA stops test burns after ash littered on community

TVA stops test burns after ash littered on community

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By WHITNEY HOLMES
6 News Anchor/Reporter

KINGSTON (WATE) -- Residents in Roane County got a scare Friday when ash started falling from the sky.

It was a result of testing TVA was doing at its Kingston Fossil Plant.

TVA has stopped doing that testing indefinitely but residents are upset they weren't told about it.

When Phyllis Ellis noticed white specks covering everything outside she called some local officials to see if they knew what it was.

"They stood and watched it fall," said the lifetime Swan Pond Community resident. "They commented on it falling on them, and on their heads and wiping it off. It was like a small flurry, like in the winter when it snows."

What looked like flurries was actually ash from the Kingston Fossil Plant.

TVA was doing a test burn of a higher sulfur coal to see if it could bed used at the plant. That resulted in ash sprinkling the Swan Pond Community.

"I have no knowledge of what they are doing. They have offered no information as to what was coming down is health harmful, environmentally harmful," said Ellis.

Ellis says about nine families are left in the Swan Pond Community so it would have been very simple for TVA to notify them of the test burn.

TVA and TDEC are testing what fell from the sky but those results won't come back for a while.

"If it sticks to the cars, trucks, what else could it be doing? You don't know if it can get into your lungs and cause damage. The misinformation is awful," she said.

TVA spokesperson Laura Smith says TVA stopped the test burns until results on the ash composition come back.

Smith says TVA didn't notify residents because it didn't realize the byproduct of burning this type of story would litter ash.

TVA does plan to test this type of coal again. Smith says, when it does TVA will notify residents.

Ellis' son, Randy Ellis of the Roane County Citizens Action Group tells 6 News that Senator Ken Yager is going to try to get TVA's permit for the test burn revoked.

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