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For Immediate Release: Jul 07, 2004
Contact: Kirsten Stade (202) 265-7337

TDEC LAX ON ENFORCEMENT AGAINST SMOKEY MOUNTAIN SMELTERS HAZARDOUS WASTE SITE

Abandoned Smelter Facility


KNOXVILLE -- Tennessee Clean Water Network (TCWN) and Tennessee Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) will be conducting a direct action at the property of the Smokey Mountain Smelter, an abandoned smelter facility. The event is scheduled for October 14, 2004 at 2:30 pm.

The action is being taken following a report compiled by TCWN and TN PEER detailing the situation and subsequent lack of enforcement by Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation. Both organizations filed a formal complaint, pursuant to the Tennessee Water Quality Control Act and the Hazardous Waste Management Act, requesting that the State of Tennessee take immediate action to issue the appropriate water pollution permits to the responsible party and to begin clean up and removal of waste.

The Commissioner's response was to first reject the complaint as invalid, but when a second complaint was filed with the governor, the matter was assigned to the Water Pollution Control Division. Water Pollution Control in correspondence to TCWN and PEER acknowledged the complaint and said they would investigate. To date, there has been no response from the Division of Superfund.

"They already know the problems at this site," said Renée Hoyos, Executive Director of the Tennessee Clean Water Network. "There are mountains of data at TDEC that indicate a clear hazard here, but TDEC will do nothing about it. We don't need more water quality tests. The site needs to be cleaned up immediately!"

PEER is trying to draw attention to this site so that the State will take some action under the Superfund and Clean Water Act programs to address the pollution coming off the site, and try and deal with such sites before they are abandoned.

"That is what the Superfund program is supposed to be doing, but essentially nothing has been done to control pollution at the site," said Barry Sulkin, Director of the Tennessee office of PEER. "Today we are showing how easy it can be to make an improvement. This should have been dealt with when the facility was in operation and the state first found it – with all the delays it is now a Superfund site.

Directions: Smokey Mountain. Smelters 1455 Maryville Pike From Downtown Knoxville,

· Start out going SOUTHEAST on HENLEY ST/TN-33/TN-71 toward W MAIN ST/US-11 N/TN-1 N. Continue to follow TN-71. · Turn SLIGHT RIGHT onto MARTIN MILL PIKE. · Turn LEFT onto MARYVILLE PIKE/TN-33. · End at 1455 MARYVILLE PIKE KNOXVILLE TN

The site is at the corner of Maryville Pike and Lewis Ave SW (Not Joe Lewis Ave)

TCWN cell phone: 865.607.6618 PEER cell phone: 615.426.0006