Radiation, Potassium Iodine & Sequoyah Nuclear Power Plant

Those old enough to live in the area remember in the early 80s the barrage of information from TVA and the Hamilton County Health Department as the Sequoyah Nuclear Power Plant came online. They told us about the pros of clean energy and the dangers of a nuclear reactor event. There was a strong push for everyone to maintain their potassium iodine tablets along with knowing your escape routes, especially after 3 Mile Island event, more recent Fukushima and Chernobyl.

The community leaders did a heavy push on educating the community, however in recent years the messaging has been sparse or non-existent. A number of new home owners don’t even realize they live in close proximity to a nuclear power facility. This should be covered in the disclosure agreement by developers/agents or rental agreements for our area especially given the age of the facility and its lifespan being extended. Here are a few facts about Sequoyah.

Sequoyah Nuclear Power Plant FACTS:





NOTE: The average lifespan of a nuclear facility is between 30-40 years because of structural and other issues. This would suggest Sequoyah SHOULD BE DECOMMISSIONED in 2021 instead of extending it 20 more years or build new reactors.

Evacuation and Time Estimates ( last updated Nov 2012 – out of date for the area growth )

Emergency Prepardness

The age of the facility and its increasing reactor SCRAMs would lead the community to believe there is a safety concern brewing and could become very problematic in the coming years. It is also recommended to contact the Hamilton County Health Department for a family supply of Potassium Iodine tablets just in case there is an emergency. It will protect your lymph nodes from absorbing radiation during evacuation process. The tablets are only good for 4 years.

Please do additional research on your own, there are probably other events not highlighted and congress should allocate funds to build new reactors and decommission the existing ones. Newer reactors are much safer than older ones.

Nuclear Evacuation Map

Nuclear Evacuation Map

Sunshine Law Violation by County Attorney

The Hamilton County Attorney Rubin Taylor may have violated Tennessee State Sunshine Law ordering a GAG ORDER on the Hamilton County Commission.

Multiple citizens have opened an complaints with the Tennessee Ethics Commission to investigate the Sunshine Law violation. Hamilton county residents can file their own complaints at the following link:

Public Record Article on Gag Order:
Source: Chattanooga Times

The sewage plant standoff between the county’s wastewater treatment authority and Hamilton County commissioners has pretty much all involved scratching their heads over what to do next.

After commissioners in December denied a special permit for a new treatment plant on Mahan Gap Road, the sewer authority said it would defer any decision on a future site — and the money to pay for it – to the commission.

Instead, officials with the Hamilton County Water and Wastewater Treatment Authority say they will work to expand capacity in their system, as well as those of Collegedale and Chattanooga, to cope with expected rapid growth and fix leaks and spills under a looming federal consent decree.

That will mean building storage tanks for wastewater and bigger lines to ship the waste to Chattanooga’s Moccasin Bend Sewage Treatment Plant from existing lines, as well as new ones expected to be needed in the fast-growing area.

But some public officials say the county would be better off if the Water and Wastewater Treatment Authority voted to sell itself to a private company, and a state representative who tried to dissolve the authority a few years ago hasn’t ruled out doing the same thing this session to protect his constituents.

Ooltewah Republican Mike Carter’s 2016 bill to dissolve the WWTA by 2021 passed but had to be undone in 2017 because it blocked the authority’s access to state loans it uses to maintain and expand its system during its life.

Carter said he’ll talk with other Hamilton County lawmakers soon “to discuss with them possible help and solutions to the problem, if there is a role for us to play.”

“I’m 100 percent in favor of a facility, but 100 percent not in favor of it being located among the communities on Mahan Gap, and in the name of building new neighborhoods, destroying neighborhoods that now exist,” he said. And he’s not happy the authority is planning to spend $200 million on fixing what it has rather than expanding the system.

If the problems can’t be resolved, he added, “sell it to someone and save $250 million of our credit rating.”

County Commissioner Chester Bankston, whose district includes the proposed plant, has pushed for WWTA to be sold.

“We’ve got to get it fixed, we’ve got to have more sewer up here,” said Bankston, who said he has talked to private operators interested in buying the authority. “If they can’t do the job, they need to give it to somebody who can.”

Tennessee American Water Co., which supplies Chattanooga’s drinking water, has said it is interested if the WWTA decides to issue a request for proposals from potential buyers.

Others say the county needs to keep its own sewer authority to maintain control of sewer routes and rates.

“I just don’t think that’s the right way to go,” said County Commissioner David Sharpe. “I think our growth should stay in the hands of Hamilton County. We should control our own destiny.”

County Mayor Jim Coppinger called for “an open mind” on how to deal with wastewater but added, “It’s an extremely critical and important decision if you are going to privatize such a valuable asset to the citizens of this county. It would obviously require a lot of conversation and a lot of consideration and input.”

Both commissioners spoke to the Times Free Press in interviews last week. At Wednesday’s county commission meeting, County Attorney Rheubin Taylor put a gag order on further discussion in that body.

When Commissioner Warren Mackey raised the topic of a new sewer plant, Taylor stopped him.

“I must respectfully ask the commission to forgo any discussion right now” of the WWTA, Taylor said. He briefed commissioners privately after the meeting but wouldn’t say publicly why he told them to keep quiet. He didn’t return a request for comment Thursday.

Bankston said Taylor told them that “WWTA’s attorney said we were obstructing justice by talking about WWTA out in public and we were hindering them from getting their job done.”

Bankston was referring to consent decree negotiations with the U.S. Justice Department and Environmental Protection Agency, along with the state attorney general and Department of Environment and Conservation.

It’s not clear whether the gag order will stop commissioners and WWTA officials from talking to each other. Both sides had said they wanted to search together for solutions to the sewage impasse.

All this uncertainty isn’t helping a bit with WWTA’s first-ever attempt to get a bond rating so it can finance up to $250 million for those required repairs, authority board member Bill McGriff told fellow board members this week.

Though he’s confident the authority will get an investment-grade rating, meaning it can sell bonds at a reasonable interest rate, the controversy “creates an uncertainty,” he said.

Board members were told Wednesday the authority has applied for $37 million in loans from the State Revolving Loan Fund for water projects, of which $14 million has been approved and $23 million more is under consideration.

WWTA executive director Mark Harrison said the authority has been working in the last few years to catch up on years of neglected maintenance and lack of capacity.

“We’ve got a good board, we’re making incredible improvements in our organization and we’re willing to continue making needed improvements based on positive, constructive input,” he said.

WWTA board chairman Mike Moon said he has asked Carter to “clarify his position” on the authority.

“If state law gets changed [to sunset the authority], there is no way forward. We would have no financing capability,” Moon said.

“For the board, our direction is to keep moving forward until we’re told not to.”

Contact staff writer Judy Walton at jwalton@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6416.

Categories: General, News Tags: ,

WWTA SEWER SPILL! Raw, Chunky & Gross!

WWTA Track Record is NOT good! A NEW spill sewage all over the Golf Course flowing into Wells Branch Creek and the Lake (Raw SEWAGE).

Do we really think WWTA can manage a sewer plant in a PROTECTED WETLANDS area in OOLTEWAH, HELL NO!

News Channel 9 WWTA SPILL – Hampton Creek

Help REPORT the WWTA to the EPA! Report RAW Sewage Click HERE

Categories: General

Neighbors weigh options to stop sewer plant

Source: Times Article

A couple of hundred homeowners gathered Thursday night to start planning their counteroffensive against a planned sewage treatment plant on Mahan Gap Road.

The sanctuary of Meadowview Baptist Church was full and a few people leaned against the walls while Brent Smith, of North Heron Bay, and Dean Morehouse, whose property adjoins the proposed plant site, briefed them on steps so far and on what needs to happen next.

Many in the crowd had attended public hearings by the Hamilton County Water and Wastewater Treatment Authority, which says the $45 million plant would provide needed treatment capacity for the rapidly growing northeast portion of Hamilton County.

Furious homeowners in the North Ooltewah area don’t dispute the need for the plant but want it placed somewhere other than their communities. Many spoke heatedly at public meetings about their fears of health impacts, wetlands contamination, sewer stink and loss of value in their most important investments, their homes.

Smith reminded the crowd of events since a single yellow rezoning sign appeared on Sept. 28, and how fearful and determined neighbors blew up the phones and social media feeds in opposition.

Thursday’s meeting needed to be different, Smith said.

“We can use that time to complain about how we don’t want it, but we’ve done that. Let’s use the time to talk about how we can move forward, maybe get some suggestions about what can be done,” he said.

“How many of you remember how you felt at that first meeting?” he asked. “I remember how I felt when I saw the yellow sign. That’s the energy you need to draw from every day in this situation. Keep that energy and keep that pressure on. They go home from work every day. We don’t. It’s 24/7 for us.”

Morehouse said representatives from the 14 subdivisions and eight non-subdivided communities are forming committees to tackle tasks ranging from circulating petitions and spreading the word on social media to investigating properties and looking at the law.

The biggest effort in the coming days, he said, has to come from those homeowners and their friends and neighbors, all loudly condemning any plant in their neighborhood and calling for an alternate site

“WWTA is not moving. This is their site. They’re not backing down,” Morehouse said.

The Hamilton County Regional Planning Agency will vote Nov. 12 whether to let the project go forward. Between now and then, he asked the neighbors to smother the planning agency staff, county commissioners and elected representatives with phone calls and emails against the plant.

Every person in the crowd got contact information for elected officials all the way up to Tennessee’s senators, as well as the state environmental agency and the WWTA board.

Meanwhile, the committees will be coming up with an “accurate, referenced, hard to refute” presentation for the planning agency and, on Dec. 19, the Hamilton County Commission.

“When we do speak to WWTA and the county commission, we have nine minutes,” Morehouse said. “We’ve got to make the best use of that nine mines. We have to have the best case as to why this needs to be moved somewhere else.”

The WWTA says the site is best because it is low-lying and could make the best use of gravity to collect the waste. Moving it with electric pumps is a much more costly option, WWTA officials said.

But they enraged the property owners at Tuesday’s public meeting when they said they had not done any sort of community impact study or calculated the potential loss in property values for the homeowners.

“What we’re trying to do is make WWTA look foolish, because in my opinion they are,” Morehouse said.

The homeowners also are deeply suspicious because developers sit on the WWTA and planning agency boards.

A property owner who was active in an anti-annexation citizens group said he thinks its going to take more than public pressure to stop the sewer plant.

“When you go to the Regional Planning Agency, everything is done in the back. It’s a dog and pony show. The only way to stop this is to go to your wallet and find the best attorney money can buy,” he said. “Everyone here is going to have to ante up, otherwise this plant’s going to happen.”

Contact staff writer Judy Walton at jwalton@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6416.

Categories: General

Community Meeting Tonight

Community meeting tonight residents on current activities from various teams.
Please plan to attend!


6/25/2018 – 6:00 pm

Meadowview Baptist Church
10715 Ooltewah Georgetown Road
Georgetown Road, TN

Categories: General

SEWER FIGHT Important Dates / Deadlines

The community is telling WWTA, RPA and County Officials LOUD AND CLEAR – NO to SEWAGE TREATMENT PLANT in Ooltewah.

Below are important dates for everyone needs to attend and provide feedback.

Source: Chattanooga.com


October 23, 2018:  The WWTA hosts  a community meeting at Central High School from 5:30 to 7:00 p.m.

October 25, 2018:  No Ooltewah Sewage Treatment Plant to host community meeting at Meadowview Baptist Church in Georgetown at 6 p.m.

November 8, 2018:  The WWTA to host community meeting at Central High School from 5:30 to 7:00 p.m.

November 12, 2018:  The Hamilton County Planning Commission will meet at 1:00 p.m. at the Hamilton County Courthouse at 1:00 p.m.

December 12, 2018:  The Hamilton County Commission’s Zoning Committee will meet at the conclusion of its regular meeting.

December 19, 2018:  The Hamilton County Commission will meet to consider the resolution to provide funding to finance the purchase of property for the North Hamilton Wastewater Treatment Plant.

2019:  Permitting process begins with TDEC and EPA

A design engineering firm is engaged to begin conceptual designs for the North Hamilton Wastewater Treatment Plant.

2025:  The North Hamilton Wastewater Treatment Plant Opens



County Mayor Jim Coppinger announces the need for additional funding for Schools, new Sewage Treatment Plant, Expanded Workhouse

September 6, 2017:  The Hamilton County Commission approves Resolution 917-12 that includes increase of funding.  Voting Aye:  Commissioners Bankston, Beck, Fields, Graham, Mackey, Martin, Smedley and Chairman Fairbanks.  Voting Nay:  Commissioner Boyd

March 9, 2018:  WWTA met with property owner.

May 16, 2018:  The Hamilton County WWTA Board approves Resolution 0518-06 to enter into an agreement with S&ME to perform site selection services for the proposed North Hamilton County Wastewater Treatment Plant.  The vote is unanimous.

September 19, 2018:  The WWTA Board is briefed by legal counsel regarding the proposed financial agreement to use funds previously allocated in the budget by the Hamilton County Commission for the purchase of property for the proposed North Hamilton Wastewater Treatment Plant.  The board directs legal counsel to submit  a resolution for financing the purchase of property for this purpose.

September 24, 2018:  The WWTA Staff submits request for a Special Exceptions Permit from the Regional Planning Agency.

September 26, 2018:  The Hamilton County Commission meets for its regularly scheduled Agenda Session.  Resolution 1018-14 to finance the purchase of property for the North Hamilton County Wastewater Treatment Plant is an agenda item.

October 3, 2018:  The Hamilton County Commission denies Resolution 1018-14 to finance the purchase of property for the North Hamilton County Wastewater Treatment Plant.

October 11, 2018:  The WWTA hosts a community meeting at the Fire Training Center from 5:30 to 7:00 p.m.

October 17, 2018:  The WWTA accepts an invitation and provides a presentation to the Ooltewah Council of the Chamber of Commerce at 9:15 a.m. in Cambridge Square above David Wayne’s.

October 18, 2018:  State Rep. Mike Carter and Hamilton County Commissioner Chester Bankston host a community meeting at Crossroads Baptist Church.


Categories: General

LEAKED: Screw the Community it’s ALL about Lining Developers Pockets

Leaked memo from the Home Builders Association and our friends at MAX DENSITY housing PRATT show it’s all about developers pushing sewer plant to line their pockets, throwing current citizens under the bus in Ooltewah. Reap and pillage then move on to another community, no accountability.


Categories: General


District 9 Chester Bankston & State Rep Mike Carter are requesting an URGENT community meeting to present ALTERNATE location for the SEWER TREATMENT plant on the NORTH END of the county. They would like everyone to attend to discuss the proposal.

Please attend this important meeting and STOP WWTA!

Meeting Location:
6pm – Main Fellowship Hall
Cross Roads Baptist Church
9122 Ooltewah-Georgetown Rd
Ooltewah TN, 37363


Categories: General


Please attend the WWTA Board Meeting downtown to push back on the sewage treatment plant in Ooltewah.

Hamilton County Water & Wasterwater Treatment Authority

October 17, 2018
3:30 PM
Room 1A
1250 Market Street
Suite 3050
Chattanooga, TN 37402
Categories: General

WWTA Meeting – Wed Oct 17 @ 9:15am

The head of WWTA in recent News 3 Interview pretty much said it’s a done deal. He thinks everyone just has to take it, lets show him otherwise!

WWTA still has to get County Commissioner Approval and RPA Approval
(However the RPA appears to have some issues and should be investigated by TBI/FBI).


Wednesday, October 17:
9:15 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.
Ooltewah Council Meeting:
Cambridge Square
9454 Bradmore Lane
Ooltewah, TN 37363
2nd Floor above Davis Waynes