East Tennessee State University
Archives of Appalachia
Johnson City, Tennessee 37614
Telephone: (423) 439-4338
Title: Bumpass Cove-Embreeville Collection
Collection Number: Accession No. 108
Physical Description: 3 linear feet (in part copies), l oversize folder, 3 audiotapes, l videotape
Creator: the Bumpass Cove Citizens Group, Incorporated
Repository: Archives of Appalachia, East Tennessee State University
Provenance: The Bumpass Cove-Embreeville Collection was placed in the Archives of Appalachia on September 23, 1981 by Irma Turner, Jerry Walls, Russell Rogers and John Wilson. These four persons were influential in the formation of the Bumpass Cove Citizens Group, Incorporated. In February 1984, Jeanette McLaughlin deposited additional photocopies of the Tennessee Department of Public Health Division of Solid Waste Management correspondence files relating to the Bumpass Cove landfill. The additional files became the property of the archives in December 1984. The collection was opened for research on September 23, 1991.
Access: The collection is open for research.
Processing Information: Processing for the Bumpass Cove-Embreeville Collection was completed by Jeanette McLaughlin in 1981, and revised by Marie Tedesco in 1989. The Findaid was revised in 1991 by Jeanette McLaughlin and Betti Davis for the opening of the collection. Processing for the Tennessee Department of Public Health Division of Solid Waste Management Collection was completed by Norma Myers and Betti Davis in 1987, and then revised by Marie Tedesco in 1989. Final Processing was completed by Norma Myers and Georgia Greer in 1996 when the Tennessee Department of Public Health... Collection was added to the Bumpass Cove-Embreeville Collection.
Embreeville and Bumpass Cove are small mountain communities located at the southeastern border of Washington County and include a small part of Unicoi County in East Tennessee. Bumpass Cove had a long history of iron, lead, zinc, and manganese mining. In June 1972, the Bumpass Cove Environmental Controls and Minerals Corporation obtained a permit from the Tennessee Department of Public Health, Division of Solid Waste Management, to operate a sanitary landfill located in an old mining site near the head of the cove.
While the principal parties remained the same, the name of the waste company changed through the years. In 1974, the name changed to Wasteplex, Inc. and again to Waste Resources of Tennessee, a subsidiary of Waste
Resources, Inc., a Pennsylvania corporation. Waste Resources of Tennessee became a subsidiary of Waste Management in March 1981. No hazardous or toxic waste was to be deposited in this landfill unless the Division of Solid Waste Management was notified and gave approval for each specific waste to be received by the landfill.
In November 1972, the Bumpass Cove Development Corporation [BCDC] discussed the feasibility and design of a proposed liquid waste incinerator to burn the hazardous and hard-to-treat liquid wastes. Tentative approval from the Division of Air Quality Control and Division of Solid Waste Management was given pending completion of a formal permitting process to operate a liquid waste incinerator. The incinerator, located in the old Fowler mining site, was operated in an improper manner. BCDC never completed application for the incinerator to become a permitted facility. Subsequently, it was closed by the Division of Air Quality Control.
A few residents believed that unauthorized wastes were being deposited at both the main landfill and the Fowler site. Julian Hobart Story and William Robert Story wrote letters and began to seek help as concerned citizens. Community suspicion of illegal practices increased. In July 1979, a picket line was formed to stop trucks from hauling waste to the main landfill. Increased numbers of citizens became involved, and the Bumpass Cove Citizens Group was incorporated on November 26, 1979. The objectives of the group included removal of hazardous waste from the old mine sites, education, and awareness of community development. Skip Foss was the first president. Partly in response to citizen pressure, Waste Resources decided to close the landfill in December 1979.
The group received grant monies for operating expenses and for purchase of a building. Vanderbilt Center for Health Services helped the community with an area health survey in the summer of 1980. The relationship between the organization and Highlander Research Education Center became an issue in 1980-1981. Although a legal attempt was made to dissolve the Bumpass Cove Citizens Group, its charter was reinstated in April 1981.
SCOPE AND CONTENT
The Bumpass Cove-Embreeville Collection includes the materials community members accumulated to deal with a serious problem in their community. Included is information on organizations which dealt with environmental and health issues, as well as the involvement of these organizations with the community. Documents related to the establishment of the Bumpass Cove Citizens Group are contained in the collection, as is Roxy Wilson's scrapbook of newsclippings, which details the history of the landfill issue as reported by the Johnson City Press-Chronicle.
The papers from four community members relating to the Bumpass Cove Citizens Group, Incorporated, 1971-1981, reflect the evolution of a group of citizens responding to a threat of hazardous waste dumping in their community; the interaction with local, state and federal agencies, and other organizations involved with environmental and social issues; and the collection of research and resource materials about other community groups, landfills, chemical and hazardous wastes, and state and federal solid hazardous waste regulations.
The distinction between personal papers and organizational papers is sometimes vague. The majority of the papers were kept by various individuals in their own homes, and each of the four donors selected materials to be placed in the Archives of Appalachia. The papers are arranged in three series: Series I, General Files, 1972-1981; Series II, Tennessee Department of Public Health Records, 1971-1981; and Series III, Scrapbook (copy), 1978-1981.
Important subjects covered in the collection include:
Bumpass Cove Citizens Group
Bumpass Cove Landfill (Washington County, Tenn.)
Bumpass Cove (Tenn.)
Burkhalter, David A.
Gilliam, D. Larry
Hazardous substances--Law and legislation--Tennessee
Hazardous waste sites--Tennessee--Unicoi County
Highlander Research and Education Center (Knoxville, Tenn.)
Phillips, Gary Lyons
Refuse and refuse disposal--Law and legislation--Tennessee
Rogers, Russell P.
Story, Julian Hobart
Story, William Robert
Tennesseans Against Chemical Hazards
Tennessee. Dept. of Public Health
Vanderbilt University. Center for Health Studies
Waste Resources of Tennessee
Water quality--Nolichucky River Valley Water-supply--Tennessee--Jonesborough
Series I, GENERAL FILES, 1972-1981, Boxes 1-3.
This series contains organizational documents, 1979-1981, including articles of incorporation and by-laws of the Bumpass Cove Citizens Group, Inc.; meeting minutes and agendas; property deeds and lease agreements, 1976-1979; correspondence, 1971-1975, between [Julian] Hobart Story and [William] Robert Story and Tennessee Department of Public Health officials; scattered water, soil, and air quality test results sent directly to community members, 1979-1981; scattered reports, 1979-1981, of hazardous waste sites in New York, Illinois, and Tennessee; correspondence, 1980, related to the Bumpass Cove Task Force; scattered correspondence, 1979-1981, between Bumpass Cove Citizens Group members and outside groups concerned with environmental issues; selected Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) reports on local water quality, 1978-1980; Vanderbilt Center for Health Services community health survey, 1980; organizational materials on Tennesseeans Against Chemical Hazards (TEACH), 1980, and Appalachian Alliance, 1978; legal correspondence and documents, 1980-1981, related to personal lawsuit vs. Waste Resources; and legal correspondence and documents, 1980-1981, related to dissolution of Bumpass Cove Citizens Group. The papers are arranged chronologically.Series II, TENNESSEE DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH RECORDS (copies), 1971-1981, Boxes 4-6.
This series contains correspondence, field testing reports, technical data, hazardous waste disposal regulations, and news releases related to the operation and regulation of the Bumpass Cove landfill and Fowler incinerator site. The copies of the Tennessee Department of Public Health files resulted from either receipt of correspondence by members of the Bumpass Cove Citizens Group from the department or from copies made at department offices by members of the citizens group. Subjects covered in this series include licensing of the landfill, water quality analysis, disposal of chemical and hazardous waste, and health concerns of the community. The bulk of the files are arranged chronologically. A few miscellaneous and undated reports, regulations, and technical data are placed at the end and are arranged alphabetically by subject or document type.Series III, SCRAPBOOK (Copy), Box 6.
Compiled by Mrs. John (Roxy) Wilson, the scrapbook includes newsclippings, 1978-1981, related to the landfill issue and some clippings (dated 1949, 1973, and 1979) on the mining history of the area. The majority of the newsclippings are from the Johnson City Press-Chronicle. The arrangement is chronological.
Non-manuscript materials include the following: two master reel-to-reel audiotapes and two audiocassette copies from those masters; one audio cassette and its cassette master copy; and one VHS videocassette. These tapes are stored in the audiovisual storage area according to accession number. One map of the Bumpass Cove region is stored in map cabinets by accession number.
BOX AND FOLDER LIST
Series I, GENERAL FILES,
1972-1981, Boxes 1-3.
1. General files, 1973-1975
2. General files, 1976-1978
3. General files, January-April 1979
4. General files, May-September 1979
5. General files, October 1979
6. General files, November 1979
7. General files, December 1979
8. General files, January-March 1980
1. General files, April-June 1980
2. General files, July 1980
3. General files, Community Health Survey, July 14-25, 1980
4. General files, August-September 1980
5. General files, October 1980
6. General files, November 1980
l. General files, January-February 1981
2. General files, March-April 1981
3. General files, May-August 1981
4. General files, August 21, 1981
5. General files, August 1981
6. General files, Miscellaneous records
7. General files, Miscellaneous records
8. General files, Miscellaneous records
Series II, TENNESSEE DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH RECORDS (copies), 1971-1981, Boxes 4-6.
1. Tennessee Department of Public Health, Chronological Files, May-December 1971
2. Tennessee Department of Public Health, Chronological Files, January-December 1972
3. Tennessee Department of Public Health, Chronological Files, April-December 1973
4. Tennessee Department of Public Health, Chronological Files, January-December 1974
5. Tennessee Department of Public Health, Chronological Files, December 1975
6. Tennessee Department of Public Health, Chronological Files, December 1975
7. Tennessee Department of Public Health, Chronological Files, January-December 1975
8. Tennessee Department of Public Health, Chronological Files, January-December 1976
9. Tennessee Department of Public Health, Chronological Files, January-December 1977
10. Tennessee Department of Public Health, Chronological Files, January-November 1978
1. Tennessee Department of Public Health, Chronological Files, January-November 1979
2. Tennessee Department of Public Health, Chronological Files, January-March 1980
3. Tennessee Department of Public Health, Chronological Files, April-June 1980
4. Tennessee Department of Public Health, Chronological Files, July-August 1980
5. Tennessee Department of Public Health, Chronological Files, September-December 1980
6. Tennessee Department of Public Health, Chronological Files, January-April 1981
1. Tennessee Department of Public Health, Chronological Files, June-September 1981
2. Tennessee Department of Public Health, Lists of chemicals disposed and industry sources, undated
3. Tennessee Department of Public Health, Rules and Regulations for waste disposal, November 1978 and undated
4. Tennessee Solid Waste Disposal Control Board, undated
5. Waste Resource Corporation Annual Report, 1975
Series III, SCRAPBOOK (Copy), Box 6.
6. Newsclippings scrapbook, mining history, 1949, 1973, 1979.
7. Newsclippings scrapbook, August 15, 1979-April 18, 1980.
8. Newsclippings scrapbook, July 1980-April 26, 1981.
9. Newsclippings scrapbook, September 1975-1981.
Tape l: Audio cassette and copy. Approximately 70 minutes long (side B does not start until count 350). August-September, 1980. Concerns individuals and activities related to Bumpass Cove landfill and/or Bumpass Cove Citizens Group.
Tape 2: Reel-to-reel master, and audiocassette copy. Approximately 60 minutes, March 9, 1981. Interview with Louisa Brown Pearce, Lamar, Tennessee. Interview concerns history of Embreeville-Bumpass Cove and the families who lived there. Mrs. Pearce is the daughter of John Jacob Brown and Esther Eliza Wilson Brown. Esther E. W. Brown was the daughter of Thomas J. Wilson and Eliza Embree. Eliza Embree, in turn, was the eldest daughter of Elihu Embree and Annette Williams. The interview was conducted by Jeannette L. (Penny) McLaughlin as part of research she was conducting on Eliza Embree Wilson. Note that the latter part of the Pearce interview is unintelligible. This perhaps is the result of using a faulty recorder.
Tape 3: Reel-to-reel master and audiocassette copy. Approximately 60 minutes, March 3, 1981. Interview with Louisa Brown Pearce (same as Tape 2). Interview with Joseph David Rogers, Embreeville, Tennessee. Interview focuses on Rogers' family, his ancestors, and his life experiences in the Embreeville area. This interview was conducted by Jeannette L. (Penny) McLaughlin as part of her research on Eliza Embree Wilson. Only the Rogers interview was copied.
Tape 4: Videocassette, VHS format. Approximately 60 minutes; no date. Some sections are in black and white, while others are in color. Sections of the tape are of poor quality. The tape focuses on problems at the Bumpass Cove landfill, and citizens' reactions to these problems.