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Advocates for Kingston coal ash spill victims meet

The East Tennessee Foundation and UT Medical Center are providing free evaluations and treatment planning for those workers.

KINGSTON, Tenn. — On Sunday in Roane County, advocates met for the victims of the clean-up crew who worked on-site at the Kingston ash spill back in 2008.

They gave messages of perseverance and say they won't stop until their voices are heard.

"We say never again should our husbands, wives, fathers, sisters, brothers, mothers be denied protection from the very toxic air that they breathe," said Julie Bledsoe, an advocate 

The East Tennessee Foundation and UT Medical Center are providing free evaluations and treatment planning for those workers.

Workers are seeking legal relief in federal court in Knoxville. Some have died; many have been sickened through what they say was exposure to the contents of coal ash dust removed from the site after the environmental disaster.

“Through no fault of their own, these workers and their families have suffered greatly over the past 12 years, and we are extremely pleased that the University of Tennessee Medical Center has stepped forward to work with East Tennessee Foundation in helping determine the medical situation of the workers,” said East Tennessee Foundation President & CEO, Mike McClamroch in a statement.

The Kingston Workers Project is the result of support provided by the Stewart Family Fund, managed by East Tennessee Foundation. John and Nancy Stewart are advisers of the fund and pitched the project to the Foundation.