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TDEC, TVA say mystery substance in Claxton primarily soil

On Thursday, both the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) and the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) issued statements concerning the results of the testing conducted on mysterious particulates that fell on parts of the Claxton community near the Bull Run Fossil Plant last month.

TVA’s Scott Brooks said in a statement that the federal utility had collected 11 samples of the mysterious substance that fell on vehicles and property around the plant and also received three smaples from a nearby property owner. Those samples were sent to an independent laboratory for testing, and Brooks says that the results show the material did not come from airborne emissions at the plant, and are instead consistent with surface soil in the area.

TDEC’s statement said that it had not only collected and tested its own samples, but had also reviewed the findings of TVA’s tests, which lined up with their results as well. Kim Schofinski with the state wrote that the “vast majority” of the material was soil, and that “as it relates to coal ash, sampling results ranged from non-detectable amounts, amounts too low to quantify, or trace amounts.”

TDEC said that it takes the concerns of citzens very seriously and is contacting those residents who contacted them with questions, while TVA says that it is committed to being “a good neighbor” and that the safety of our employees and our friends and neighbors in the local community is always our priority.”

(Scott Brooks, TVA) In response to concerns from our neighbors about airborne material on vehicles and property around Bull Run Fossil Plant, TVA collected 11 samples and received 3 samples from a homeowner and sent them for testing to an independent laboratory. Results show the material is not coming from air emissions at Bull Run and is consistent with surface soil in the area. TDEC also sampled material at several locations, and their results affirm that the material is consistent with surface soil.

We are committed to being a good neighbor. The safety of our employees and our friends and neighbors in the local community is always our priority.

(Kim Schofinski, TDEC) TDEC takes the concerns of citizens very seriously, and in response to their direct requests, we independently conducted sampling of the material in the area. We also reviewed lab results from samples taken by TVA and citizens. We appreciate the public’s patience throughout this process. 

All results indicated the vast majority of the material was soil. As it relates to coal ash, sampling results ranged from non-detectable amounts, amounts too low to quantify, or trace amounts. 

We are in the process of contacting homeowners who contacted us regarding this issue.

About Jim Harris

Jim Harris has been WYSH's News & Sports Director since 2000. In addition to reporting local news, he is the play-by-play voice for Clinton High School football, boys' and girls' basketball and baseball. Catch Jim live weekdays beginning at 6:20 am for live local news, sports, weather and traffic plus the Community Bulletin Board, shenanigans with Ron Meredith and more on the Country Club Morning Show on WYSH & WQLA. Jim lives in Clinton with his wife Kelly and daughter Carolina, his mother-in-law and cats Lucius and Oliver.

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