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Tempers flare at Holston Army Ammunition Plant meeting

(WCYB/Caleb Perhne)

Tempers flared between the public and representatives of Holston Army Ammunition Plant Wednesday night.

"To say that there's absolutely nothing that's safe that you can do, to me, lacks total imagination," one member of the public said in a heated exchange.

The outcry is over open burning. People who live near the plant say the burning is affecting their health.

The plant has burned potentially explosive waste for years, but a planned expansion will increase the amount.

This was the first in a series of quarterly meetings planned by the U.S. Army and BAE Systems, the company that runs the plant.

Representatives of the plant emphasized their commitment to finding a solution.

"As a member of the Army, as a person who lives in the community here, I want a solution of some type," Holston Army Ammunition Plant official Joe Kennedy said. "We don't expect a 100 percent solution."

Holston Army Ammunition Plant began researching alternatives to open burning in 2015. They plan to have something in place by 2024.

The next public meeting is set for April 11, 2019 at 6 p.m. at ETSU's Allandale campus.

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