Ooh-la-la, environmental catastrophe mama (www.erinbrockovich.com)
The proverbial shit can be said to have truly hit the fan when Erin Brockovich shows up to your town. On a recent trip to Harriman, PITW found townspeople abuzz with the news outside of the American Legion at a private residents' meeting--PITW wasn't allowed in and, technically, shouldn't have known about it. Present were big-time East Coast lawyers "exploring legal options" with the residents of Swan Pond Circle Road and Lakeshore Drive, both of which could be considered ground zero in the destructive and potentially poisonous release of fly ash from a dredge cell at the Tennessee Valley Authority Kingston Fossil Plant. There were doctors talking about the potential for health problems.
One lady said there was even a woman who lived near a Pennsylvania fly ash spill which dumped 100 million gallons of the stuff into the Delaware River. She'd come to tell about the travails of her own town. Their spill, of course, is paltry compared to the one billion gallons released into the Emory River Dec. 22.
Johnny Owens, 58, says some people are happy about the arrival of Erin Brockovich (she'll be there today) while others take umbrage. He says he expects a division to form amongst the townspeople. Between those who want TVA held to account and those who say there's no use crying over spilled toxic sludge.
"Some of the public officials try to appease TVA instead of their constituents," Owens said. "Some don't like treehuggers. They want to get some of that stuff and put it on their vegetable gardens."