Across Appalachia

Residents Allege Herbicide Spraying Caused Health Problems

Date: June 15, 2017

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A group of citizens in Sharps Chapel, Tenn., believe that excessive spraying of herbicides by Powell Valley Electric Cooperative in June of 2016 has caused major health problems for them and their pets.

Residents report that they have experienced painful rashes and kidney issues. When asked by the Knoxville News Sentinel to comment, PVEC General Manager Randell Meyers denied that these health issues were caused by the spraying of herbicides. However, on March 10, a couple from Sharps Chapel filed a civil lawsuit claiming that Powell Valley Electric Cooperative was negligent in its use of toxic chemicals to clear brush from the cooperative’s electric poles.

The spraying lawsuit is the second lawsuit filed against PVEC this year. In January of 2017, the cooperative’s director of accounting and finance filed a wrongful termination suit with Powell Valley. According to the Claiborne Progress newspaper, the lawsuit alleges that the employee was fired after alerting the auditing committee that PVEC was possibly engaging in illegal activities. — Lou Murrey

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