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    Posted December 29, 2008 by
    Knoxville, Tennessee
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Save the planet

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    TVA Coal is Killing Tennessee


    Sunday, December 28, 2008

    Dec 27, 2008 United Mtn Defense at Kingston Public Meeting TVA Coal Ash Disaster

    Dear folks, Dec 27, 2008 (please re post to any and all online blogs and news sources) http://s291.photobucket.com/albums/ll297/creekkeeper_2008/Harriman%20Coal%20ash%20spill/ Photos from the Emory River Dec 27, 2008 taken by Hurrican Creek River Keeper-- John L. Wathen of Tuscaloosa, AL United Mountain Defense volunteers spent yesterday Dec 27, 2008 delivering Material Safety Data Sheets about fly ash and announcements about the Public Meeting in Kingston to the coal impacted citizens around TVA's coal ash disaster. We also mobilized volunteers from the Hurricane Creek Keeper of Tuscaloosa, AL and Upper Watauga River Keeper of Boone, NC to paddle up the river and gather samples of river water, sludge, and document all the impacts they could see. While in route they were interviewed by a New York Times reporter in a bass boat. They are sending their samples to a Toxicity Lab at Appalachian State University and are hoping to get the results back on Tuesday. After the flotilla scanned the area for no trespassing/warning/danger signs, which they could not find, they paddled directly into TVA's coal ash spill area. They observed TVA damming the river with large rip rap, rocks. There are rumors that TVA may be re- routing the river around this dam, potentially turning this river section into a MASSIVE slurry pond. Of course once the paddlers made it to the disaster site they could not be accessed by the motorized boats of the TVA or local police due to the shallow water level. Upon completion of gathering samples the three paddlers surrendered to TVA police and received warning citations for trespassing and were set free. The immediate tests they took showed the highest conductivity level of 209 at the coal ash spill site. The conductivity level further down river was 80. At another site on the Lakeshore Rd in the inlet the conductivity reading was over 300. Conductivity shows the amount of dissolved metals or salt in the water and the preliminary results we found were not outside of the acceptable range. United Mountain Defense has also sent off the chilled water samples from Day 1-Day 5 to local labs for testing. Look for their video to be posted on the Appalachian Voices website soon. We just learned last night on the local news the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation stated their water tests showed contaminant levels above safe limits in the drinking water. There was no info about what contaminants, whose drinking water, and what precautions to take. This is truely insane! The on the ground situation is constantly changing here. There are numerous dump trucks driving very fast down these windy roads to deliver rip rap rock for the river dam. These trucks appear to be overloaded and overwieght. United Mountain Defense still has a lot of outreach left to do. Right now the best thing that you can do is help raise funds or send resources for our ground work. We need money for Sony Premium DVM 60 Digitial Mini VideoCassette Tapes, hundreds of copies @ .10 cents a piece, automobile gas, airplane gas for SouthWings flyovers, bottled water for impacted residents without clean water, recharging the cell phone for media work, and meriad of other expenses. Any help that you could offer would be greatly appreciated. United Mountain Defense is a 501c3 non profit. We are an all volunteer organization, we keep all reciepts, and we will make your money stretch as far a possible. Mail check or gear to P.O. Box 20363 Knoxville, TN 37920 Thank you, matt landon Full time volunteer staff person for United Mountain Defense http://dirtycoaltva.blogspot.com/ www.unitedmountaindefense.org
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