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New Documentary on TVA Spill announced

January 11, 2009

An issue that is soon to effect all of us on TVA’s electric grid is the recent ash spill. As our rates begin to escalate, one documentary filmmaker is working to get the story on what happened.

East Tennessee filmmaker Keith McDaniel announced today that he intends to produce a documentary film about the Emory River Ash Spill that occurred December 22, 2008, at the Kingston Steam Plant in Kingston, Tennessee.

The spill was the result of a breach in a retaining pond, which released more than a billion gallons of fly ash sludge onto the neighboring community and into the Emory River.  It is the largest environmental disaster in the history of the Tennessee Valley Authority.

In announcing plans for the film, McDaniel, a Roane County native, said, “I grew up in Roane County and my father worked at the Kingston Steam Plant for more than 30 years. As a Roane countian and documentary filmmaker, I feel compelled to make sure this story is told honestly and accurately.”

He added, “Those whose lives have been affected by this disaster are our friends and our neighbors and we have an obligation to document the causes of and the ramifications of this event – not only for the rest of the world but for future generations.”

McDaniel stated he is looking to talk with those whose homes, businesses and/or lives have been affected by the spill. They may contact him by email at or by phone at 865-742-8783.

McDaniel is an award-winning documentary filmmaker and owner of Secret City Films in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. His latest film, THE CLINTON 12, is narrated by actor James Earl Jones and tells the story of the integration of Clinton High School in Clinton, Tennessee, in August 1956. THE CLINTON 12 is currently being broadcast nationwide on PBS television.

McDaniel is also set to screen his short film, “Greener” at the February 5-8 Oxford Film Festival.

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