Anderson Co. woman worries utilities board may be spraying herbi

Anderson Co. woman worries utilities board may be spraying herbicides on her property

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Every year Smith and her family pick apples from the two trees, but now she says that tradition is over. Every year Smith and her family pick apples from the two trees, but now she says that tradition is over.
By WHITNEY GOOD
6 News Reporter

BRICEVILLE (WATE) - An Anderson County woman says the local utilities board is killing her plants.

Linda Smith contacted 6 News, concerned that Clinton Utilities Board may be spraying herbicides on her property in the Briceville community, killing her apple trees.

For years, Clinton Utilities Board has sprayed weed killer in the right-of-way for old Norfolk Southern tracks trying to keep the weeds away from the nearby power lines, but now Smith, who owns property on the side of the tracks, says that weed killer is getting a little too close to home.

"You can see here where they've got the apple tree all through here also," said Smith pointing at one of two apple trees in her yard.

Every year Smith and her family pick apples from the two trees, but now she says that tradition is over.

"These now are contaminated, and it's not right. It's wrong!" she said.

She says for the past several years Clinton Utilities Board has been spraying weed killer near electric lines beside her property, and she believes her trees are now being sprayed.

"You can walk all the way around the tree and you can see all the leaves where the starting to die, all the spots. Does this stuff cause cancer? Does it cause long term harm to people?" said Smith.

6 News contacted Clinton Utilities Board.

Electric Operations Supervisor Rodney Quarles says he has been to Smith's property to see if the trees had been sprayed, and he says the only areas he saw affected were in their right-of-way.

He also says health issues should not be a concern because the herbicides they use are only harmful to plants and not to people and can be purchased at any lawn care store.

"My children planted these trees, and I can't get them back," said Smith.

Smith says she has contacted an attorney.

Clinton Utilities Board says it will keep spraying in the right of way, and that Smith's apple trees should not be affected by their spray.

They are not sure what may be killing the trees.
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