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Claxton playground contaminated with toxic coal ash to remain open

The Kid’s Palace playground in Anderson County will remain open, and without any warning to parents, despite recent findings the facility’s soil is contaminated with low levels of the Tennessee Valley Authority’s radioactive coal ash waste.

“I’ve not had one email, one text or one call (from constituents) telling me to shut down the park,” Anderson County Commission Chairman Tracy Wandell said Monday after an hour of heated debate Monday night between residents worried about children’s exposure to a toxic dust dangerous to breathe or ingest and members of an Anderson County committee. “Who didn’t know coal ash was dangerous?”

Anderson County Commission Chairman Tracy Wandell exchanges words with meeting attendees during the Anderson County Commission meeting held in Clinton on Monday, August 9, 2021.

Although the committee declined to post warning signs or close the playground, at least two resolutions about the Claxton Community Park are headed to the full Anderson County Commission meeting on Aug. 16.

Wandell wants commissioners to ask TVA to build a new park, community center and fire station on land the utility bought in 2011 to build a new coal ash dump at its Bull Run coal-fired power plant. 

The land is vacant now. TVA withdrew its request for a dump permit after Anderson County residents rallied against it.

Anderson County Mayor Terry Frank wants commissioners to let her ask the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, which is the state regulatory agency tasked with policing coal ash waste, to conduct its own testing at the Kid’s Palace playground.

Coal ash in playground, ball field dirt

The committee meeting came after two recent revelations by Knox News as part of its ongoing investigation into threats from TVA’s toxic waste:

Read More: Claxton playground contaminated with toxic coal ash to remain open

2021-08-10 21:00:47

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