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unEARTHED. The Earthjustice Blog

Part 2: Report From Coal Ash Hearing in Congress


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31 March 2009, 1:23 PM
 

After a break…the hearing resumed with testimony from Renee Victoria Hoyos, executive director of the Tennessee Clean Water Network, and from Dr. Avner Vengosh, professor of earth and ocean sciences at Duke University.

During questions from members of the committee (specifically Rep. Johnson), regarding particulate matter pollution, Dr. Vengosh said: "Inhalation of ash would definitely increase the health risk. Given the climate condition, and we had a lot of rainfall in the south until now, there hasn't been formation of particulate matter as of yet...For the current situation there hasn't been formation of dust that could affect health. However this could be changing very soon."

While breathing the coal ash dust might not pose an immediate threat, as the weather warms up and the rainfall dries out, coal ash dust could be a very serious problem.

Rep. Donna Edwards (D-MD) asked about including this site under the Superfund program. In asking about the health data, Edwards asking if TVA has a requirement to report the data. McCoin said she believes it is at TVA's discretion to report back.

Unfortunately, it seems there has not been any analysis reporting back on the health impacts to residents living near this coal ash site, much to the dismay of McCoin, who is a resident of Harriman, TN, about a mile from the ash dumping.

The third panel is just beginning opening statments, so expect another post soon.

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