Environmental Group Holds Peaceful Demonstration

Environmental Group Holds Peaceful Demonstration

The Sierra Club held a demonstration Friday in an effort to change the way many of us get our power.

MEMPHIS, TN -- We get our power from many resources; coal in Tennessee is just one of them. However, one environmental group is trying to get the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) to change their ways. 

TVA’s Allen Coal Plant is one of many in the state of Tennessee, and sits on McKellar Lake. Friday, the Sierra Club came at them with a message, “Move Beyond Coal.” 

A group of sixteen loaded kayaks and canoes and paddled on McKellar Lake with the Allen Coal Plant in the background. They’re lead by Scott Banbury, his biggest concern is water.

“The water, while cleaned of the solids that would make it look dirty, metals remain dissolved in it. It’s then being discharged into McKellar Lake.” 

Chris Stanley, TVA’s spokesman says the plant is operating under EPA guidelines. “We meet all the standards that we can meet and we need to meet. If those standards change, we’re going to continue to meet those standards.” says Stanley

Banbury adds, “TVA does everything they’re required to do by law, they’re not trying to get away with anything.” 

The Allen Coal Plant has been around for over 50 years. Old habits are tough to break, but through an agreement with the EPA, changes must be made by 2018. 

Stanley says there are options on the table. “We can put what are called scrubbers on here, or we can look at a natural gas facility. There are other options we have as well, but we haven’t made the final decision on it.” 

Banbury was asked what his bottom line was through all of this and he replied, “We want them to assure us that they are going to stop burning coal at the Allen steam plant.” 

Stanley ended his interview by saying, “I think we’re all working toward the same thing here, a clean and enjoyable environment.” 

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