March 10, 2015
Groups Co-Host Community Discussion on Gallatin’s Coal Ash Story
Featuring a screening of Working Films’ highly successful ‘Coal Ash Stories’ series
Gallatin, Tenn. – On March 25th 2015, Statewide Organizing for Community eMpowerment (SOCM), Sierra Club Tennessee Chapter, Climate Nashville, Ecogal, The Curious Consumer, Physicians for Social Responsibility, and Working Films will host a free open community discussion on the continuing impact of Tennessee Valley Authority’s coal ash landfill, the recent lawsuit filed by the state against TVA, and what it means for the future of the Gallatin community. In light of recent coverage of the multiple implications of TDEC’s lawsuit against TVA, the event will offer a forum for community members to share their perspectives and have their voices heard.
The event will be held in the Palace Theater, Gallatin, and is part of a larger statewide screening tour. The event will start at 6:30 p.m. CST. Admission is free and open to the public.
This community discussion follows a similar event held in Kingston in February, which has resulted in on-going open discussions with the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation. That discussion gave Kingston community members the opportunity to have a say in how TDEC approaches public hearings and comment periods on the TVA coal ash issues affecting them.
At the event, Working Films will present a screening of Coal Ash Stories, a compilation of four short documentary films focused on coal ash, the public health and environmental concerns it presents in communities across the country, and related public policy. Working Films has been instrumental in engaging the public around the Dan River coal ash spill in North Carolina.
The screening will be followed by a question and answer session with local issue experts. Speakers will be on hand to discuss their stories, and offer advice on how to become involved in local and statewide efforts regarding coal ash, including how to provide comments to TDEC and/or to speak at local TDEC public hearings.
“Where I live, people don’t want to think about or talk about coal ash. They want to forget that TVA spilled all of their coal ash into the river in 2008,” says David Wasilko, SOCM member, “For me, everyday that I glance above the tree line at our farm and see the flue gas billowing out of the towers at the fossil plant, I’m reminded of all of the harm done by mining and burning coal in Appalachia. It’s hard to believe that TVA is willing to risk another coal ash disaster, but I don’t intend to let them.”
“The Sierra Club hopes that by shining a spotlight on the issues at Gallatin, TDEC will pay attention to the concerns of the affected community,” says Axel Ringe, Conservation Chair, Tennessee Chapter of the Sierra Club.
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Statewide Organizing for Community eMpowerment is a member-run organization that encourages civic involvement and collective action so that people of Tennessee have a greater voice in determining their future. The mission of SOCM is to empower Tennesseans to protect, defend, and improve the quality of life in their communities across the state. SOCM is working for social, economic, and environmental justice for all. We are committed to the journey of becoming an anti-racist organization. www.socm.org
About Working Films
Working Films, a national nonprofit and nonpartisan organization based in Wilmington, NC, is coordinating Coal Ash Stories. Working Films builds partnerships between nonfiction media-makers, nonprofit organizations, businesses, educators and advocates to advance community-based and policy solutions to social, economic, and environmental challenges. http://workingfilms.org/coalash