On December 3, 2012, Lynne Liddington , Director
of the Department of Air Quality Management was the speaker. Her title was “Air Quality in Knox County-An Update”. Currently Knox County is in attainment with the national air quality standards for particulates and sometimes for lead but we are not in attainment for ozone. We are in attainment in 19 mout of 20 monitoring sites. Lynne is disappointed that all sites are treated
equally even though they are not equal. The national standards are health related. Ozone is bad for the young and the elderly and it comes from hydrocarbons and nitrogen oxides.
Lynne expects new national ozone standards of 65 ppm and we have done all the reasonable things available and we will not be able to meet the new standards.
Particulates of 2.5 microns are of particular interest because they are respirable. TVA has done a good job in eliminating particulates but we get a lot of our particulates from midwest power plants that have not cleaned up. If proposed new standards are 12 ppm then Knox County will have difficulty in meeting them, The interstate highway with
trucks is a big air pollution contributor and Knox County has very limited options in controlling trucks. Diesel engines will eventually be replaced by something less polluting.
Lead is a health hazard- particularly for children. The monitors are near the polluting sites. The industry response has sometimes been to buy up more land.
The December 10, 2012 speaker was Norm Nelson who serves as the Supported Employment Coordinator for Emory Valley Center in Oak Ridge. He described the organization and the programs it administers. Primarily they support people who have a mental disability (congenital or from an accident) before they are 18 years old and help them find appropriate productive employment. They are involved in many other programs- their website is emoryvalleycenter.com.
Dr. Richard Briggs (Knox Co. Commission) spoke on December 17, 2012. His topic was “Local Government and Attracting High Tech Businesses to Our Community”.
He explained the need for a locality to have a site ready for a new business or industry. The people looking for a place to locate want something that is ready now. It is important for County Commission to have foresight. He described the problems with a new site that is being held up by a very small number of vocal people. He stayed after the meeting and discussed some medical issues.
• December 24 no meeting
• December 31 no meeting