Release date: 09/10/2009
Contact Information: Laura Niles, (404) 562-8353, [email protected]
(Atlanta, Ga. – September 10, 2009) U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) officials will be returning to Perry County, Ala. on Wednesday, September 16, 2009 for a public forum at the Uniontown City Hall Auditorium to update residents about the current operation of removing coal ash from the Emory River near the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) Kingston removal site in Roane County, Tenn., and placing it into the Arrowhead Landfill in Perry County.
The public forum will include representatives from EPA, TVA, the Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM), Perry County and the landfill operations company, Phill-Con Services.
EPA’s Administrative Order on Consent with TVA requires that the coal ash from the TVA Kingston site be disposed of in accordance with the most stringent protective disposal standards for municipal solid waste landfills. The Arrowhead Landfill was selected because it meets and exceeds these standards. Prior to approving the Arrowhead Landfill as the disposal site for the coal ash, EPA visited the landfill and met with local leaders and members of the surrounding community to review the disposal plan and answer questions. The Alabama Department of Environmental Management continues to conduct ongoing monitoring of the landfill to ensure it is operated properly.
UNIONTOWN, AL (WSFA) - 560,000 tons of coal ash now sit in a landfill in Perry County, and not everyone's happy about it.
A coal ash spill in Kingston, Tennessee on December 22nd, 2008 has people in Uniontown spilling into city hall.
After the spill, Arrowhead Landfill in Perry County won a bid to dump 3 million tons of coal ash from the spill into their landfill.
The project is bringing 50 jobs and $3 million to Perry County.
But residents are skeptical the sludge coming into town may have health hazards.
"I'm afraid that the line is going to rot. It's going to seep into the water line. And it's going to be harmful to our young ones," says Earnest Jones.
"I want to get a better understanding for myself so I'll be able to understand what's going on and see about the long-term affects," says Brenda Cooke.
Many are simply looking for authorities to set the record straight.
So what is the truth? Authtorities with the Environmental Protection Agency says there's nothing to worry about.
"There are no risks to human health and to the environment from this material itself," says EPA representative, Franklin Hill.
It's a project Perry County commissioners say wouldn't have made the cut any other way.
"First of all, we wouldn't have been able to deposit it into this landfill. Second, we would not allow it to come either. Because, we're not doing anything to hurt our citizens," says Commission Chairman, Fairest Cureton.
But even an all clear from the EPA doesn't convince everyone.
"They're lying. I think they're lying. I think it's harmful. And this is something we don't want. And I don't think they should shove it down our throat," says Jones.
Despite doubts from some residents, County Commissioners are certain the project is helping the area.
They already have plans for the $3 million dollars.
Much of it is going to individual cities and the school system.
It's also being used for county infrastructure like roads and bridges