Almost five years ago, a devastating environmental event took place in Tennessee. There was a collapse at a large fossil plant that resulted in ash spill covering a significant portion of land in the community. As is normal in situations like this, an effort to clean up the destruction was put into effect. That cleanup, however, reportedly caused a whole new sort of mess.
Workers who were subcontracted to clean up the ash spill have filed a class action lawsuit against the company that employed them to clean the spill site. They claim that they were exposed to a more dangerous environment than they were informed about or prepared for. They argue that the company knew of the dangers but failed to protect the contractors.
The toxic exposure lawsuit includes reports of at least some of the 49 plaintiffs getting sick because of the dangerous chemical exposure to substances such as arsenic, barium and more. Working with chemicals like that most definitely takes proper safety gear and protocols. According to the plaintiffs, such protection was not provided even though the company knew about the health risk that workers were exposed to.
Officials in the area are calling for more help to ensure the safe clean-up of the ash spill. The EPA's involvement could help identify the exact danger of the site and what needs to be done to safely clean it up. It isn't just the plaintiffs' health that might have been compromised; the general population in the area of the spill should know that they are safe from the effects of the incident.
Source: WATE TV, "Workers sue company contracted to clean up Kingston ash spill," Aug. 22, 2013