Loudon County - Low or high risk area for Cancer?





EPA to make presentation - this Wednesday

By: Pat Hunter

January 25, 2009


What are your chances of getting cancer in Loudon County? Do you know anyone that was diagnosed with cancer? What chemicals may be anticipated to cause adverse health affects including cancers?


Loudon County is a rural community with six polluting industries operating permits under Title V, Clean Air Act and amendments and five other large industries and two large interstate systems according to the Public Health Assessment, which was released on May 12, 2006. The Tennessee State Health Department and the US Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry concluded that for a 10-year period (1991-2000), Loudon County ranked #1 in overall cancer in Tennessee for both sexes combined, state wide. If this isn't a concern, it should be!


The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Region 4 held an all day seminar on the topic of Risk Assessment for Air Toxics. The seminar was held on Jan. 16th at the Visitor’s Center. The speaker was Dr. Solomon Pollard, Jr., Senior Toxicologist – Air, Pesticides, and Toxics Management Division. Dr. Pollard presented allot of material and a power point information about air toxic and risk assessment. Too many details and information but if you would like to view a power point presentation on the subject, please drop me an email. 


At the end of the seminar, Dr. Pollard, Jr. announced that the EPA would return and share information after examining air emission date and emission comparisons between two air monitors, which are located in Loudon County. He didn’t know if they (EPA) would have time to talk about  where emissions sources are coming from because that would include involving all the parties and the EPA was rushing to complete the information. It takes about 3-5 months to do a risk assessment bottom line, Pollard concluded. The EPA is only one month into this process he said. The information will be presented at the Loudon County Air Quality Task Force meeting on Wednesday, January 28th at 3:30 PM at the Annex, Loudon but if there are issues with the data, the presentation will not be made.


The Air Pollution Control TDEC proposed shutting down and removing the air monitor located at Ft. Loudon Middle School, followed by the eventual removal of the other air monitor on Webb Dr., behind Carl’s Drive-In, a stone throw from the Blairbend Industrial Park.  The assessment will analyze air emissions data submitted by TDEC, about 5-years of data collected from the Jimmy Pope (Webb Dr.) air monitor and about 2 ˝ years of data collected from the Ft. Loudon Middle School air monitor. A contractor and TDEC calibrated the air monitors. TDEC then collected the samples and an EPA certified lab analyzed the data. TDEC then released the data to certain individuals and task force members.  


Barry Stephens, Technical Secretary, Air Pollution Control, Tennessee Department of Environment (TDEC) informed everyone in attendance that the EPA had offered to talk to the State about the preliminary results but they declined the offer and will hear it for the first time when the EPA attends the Loudon County Air Quality Task Force meeting to share the information. There would be no discussion between TDEC and the EPA, he explained. The EPA isn't real happy with this since the EPA sits down with TDEC to discuss the results first. Stephens didn’t want the perception that TDEC knew of the results beforehand. So we’re just as interested in hearing the preliminary results. The EPA does not want to be perceived as doing something concerning a State regulatory agency, when the state agency is in charge and is not aware of the results, were the ending comments. We do like the notifications on the front end, chuckled Barry Stephens, but we’ll pass this time.


Ground Level Toxic Soup