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Roane County intends to launch a PR campaign
to counter all the "bad press" (news) that's resulted from the billion gallons of toxic fly ash spilled from a TVA holding pond in late December like so many negative headlines.
TVA has agreed to underwrite the expenditure of some $1.9 million for Nashville PR firm McNeely Pigott & Fox. So, as we all knew, the ratepayers will shoulder not only the cost of cleaning up a wholly preventable mess, but now will pay for a high-profile PR firm to rehabilitate the reputation of Roane County, Tennessee from Superfund to place you'd like to live or vacation.
The people of Roane County are hopeful, even unreasonably optimistic, as I learned during a visit to the area shortly after the spill. They hate the raised eyebrows that often result when a stranger asks where they're from. They just want things to be the way they were (Oak Ridge nuclear facility aside).
Unfortunately, all the good press in the world won't change the facts: Acres of land submerged beneath ash. Leaching of the arsenics and assorted heavy metals into the soil and subsurface water. Land that may never be fully reclaimed or even safe for grazing. Riverbeds choked with ash, and the dredging taking place that is surely stirring it up. Fish inhabiting the Emory that are suffused with the poisons.
How do you spin that? Well, I'll try:Fish the Emory in Roane County! Where the fish don't put up much of a fight because they're anemic.Boating Watts Bar Lake: Because you can't swim in it!Cheap Real Estate in Roane: One man's respiratory complications are another man's 50 cents on the dollar!