Smokestack with grayish smoke (left) & KC plant (right)



                                                BY: PAT HUNTER

At the July 27, 2011 Loudon County Air Quality Task Force (LCAQTF) meeting, armed with pictures and other documentation, Loudon resident Mark Ludwig complained about pollution issues with his next door neighbor, Kimberly Clark (KC) Loudon Mill located in the Sugarlimb Industrial Park. He showed pictures of ash on his vehicle and property, and he furnished thirteen dates of pollution incidents traveling across property lines to neighboring residences. He was concerned about the health of young family members. He contacted Kimberly Clark and Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC).



Task force member KC employee Bryan Crawford said the Ludwig had called numerous times about his concerns. If that's from our facility that's unacceptable Crawford commented. There was a discussions among task force members to send a letter to KC.

Plant manager Mike Smith was aware of the problem and he had been to Ludwig's residence. Chairman Mike Crosby suggested writing a letter to Mike Smith and asking for resolution to this problem and a request from the task force for corrective action.

Industry task force member Tate & Lyle plant manager Gerry Schluerter and Commissioner Don Miller thought that the letter should first be approved by the governing bodies before sending out the letter.

Medical representative Dr. Bud Guider spoke about this being a problem for 9 or 10 years with other complaints with pictures. Russ Ellis (former chairman -deceased) was one of those people that complained; my take it needs to be fixed Guider said. At first we thought it was fugitive dust. Where do you live asked Guider? Ludwig said that he lived about 200 yards from the fence, there are four homes. They don't deserve to put up with that said Dr. Guider.  I like the idea of getting something in writing and getting permission from the governmental bodies Dr. Guider commented.

LCAQTF Chairman Crosby explained that last time the task force was faced with issues like that, we just went and spoke to the plant manager. Crosby wasn't much in a mood to ask the cities and county for permission; the problem may be with Loudon City commented Commissioner Don Miller. Management sees the minutes and writes comments Crawford informed task force members; the pictures are another data point and its a serious issue.

Gerry Schlueter argued that the task force should first get approval from the governmental bodies.

Dr. Guider made the motion for the task force to write a letter to Kimberly Clark about pollution issues to adjacent properties of the plant. The motion was seconded by Sherry Lee.

Don Miller suggested writing a letter to present to the three governmental bodies. Dr. Guider volunteered to take the letter to Loudon City who does not have any representation on the task force, and Don Miller volunteered to take the letter for Commission approval. Crosby asked, so its to write a letter and take it to the governmental bodies, which was incorporated into the motion.

Voting Aye to write the letter: Dr. Guider, Citizen rep Sherry Lee, County rep Commissioner Don Miller, Lenoir City rep Sam Thomas, and Citizen Mike Slimbarski (retired Tate & Lyle plant manager). Voting No: Industry rep from Viskase Dennis Brennan, and Industry rep from Tate & Lyle Gerry Schlueter.  Abstain: Industry rep from Kimberly Clark Bryan Crawford, and Chairman Mike Crosby. Absent: Commission rep David Meers.

Mark Ludwig also complained about the trucks transporting ash and dropping the ash along the Sugarlimb road as he followed behind on his motorcycle. It's my main transportation and when I'm behind the truck, I had to stop.

Dr. Bud Guider confirmed what Ludwig said, if you get behind one of those trucks you can hardly see to drive, he said. "It's awful" said Dr. Guider.  He didn't have a picture but that it was an ongoing thing added Ludwig.




The pictures of the grayish matter were taken alongside Sugarlimb Rd several years ago by Pat Hunter, years ago, when she observed a truck carrying the grayish matter flying off the truck,

Pat Hunter informed the task force that in the past the ash debris had been collected from the roadside and shown to TDEC, and that it was disappointing that TDEC showed no interest. Hunter also spoke about a dark grayish matter that settles all over her property and that other neighbors complain about the same fine soot.          

Ludwig's neighbors were aware of the ongoing pollution problem but they told him that it wouldn't do any good to complain. CLICK OTHER COMPLAINTS 

CLICK TDEC Notice of Violation (NOV) issued to Kimberly Clark

Ludwig also spoke about a film on the river that he said was eating his aluminum boat and that he hoped to find the source when Tate & Lyle plant manager Gerry Schlueter responded, why are you looking at me.