Black clouds of smoke and loud noises heard at Eastman Thursday reported as “restart” attempts by company

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KINGSPORT, TN (WJHL) – Shortly after 10:00a.m. Thursday morning News Channel 11 received several reports and pictures from viewers seeing black smoke in Kingsport near Eastman. Some viewers even reported hearing loud noises similar to the two explosions that happened Wednesday morning.

Brad Lifford with Eastman Communications told News Channel 11 the smoke was a result of a restart attempt at the plant. Lifford said “As we work through the restart, this can temporarily result in dark smoke from our coal fired boilers.”

News Channel 11 also reached out to the Environmental Protection Agency and the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation. The EPA has not responded to our request for information regarding their investigation into the explosions and fire that happened at Eastman on Wednesday. TDEC Communications Director Eric Ward issued the following statement to News Channel 11:

Eastman has been in communication with TDEC staff regarding the incident, including its initial notification. They are required to provide an incident assessment to the department under our air regulations. We can provide more specific information tomorrow regarding all of the reporting requirements, deadlines, etc. We are investigating the cause of the incident and any potential impacts to the environment.”

Copyright 2017 WJHL. All rights reserved.

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