Reward Offered To Find Copper Thieves Who Caused Oil Spill At Coats American Building In Walker County

Monday, March 12, 2018

Copper thieves vandalized an industrial transformer at the Coats American building prompting an emergency response Sunday night. The incident began after a resident noticed an oily sheen and notified a Rossville police officer, who traced the source to the Coats building on Maple Street.

Walker County Emergency Services (WCES) responded around 7:15 p.m. and discovered a transformer inside the building had been vandalized in order to steal copper.  The transformer was labeled PCB, meaning oil inside the unit likely contained polychlorinated biphenyl, a chemical used for electrical insulation.  The vandalism resulted in an oil spill.

Walker County notified Georgia EPD and their counterpart in Tennessee.  Chattanooga Hazmat also responded and confirmed the presence of PCB in the oil.  SRT Safety, an environmental clean-up company, was brought in to contain the oil that spilled from the transformer.

SRT contained the oil to an onsite containment area at the Coats property and placed booms along a half mile stretch from Williams Street Tributary to State Line Road to absorb any residual oil that made it into the storm water.  The oil that leaked beyond the Coats property is believed to be small, similar to the amount of residual oil that would run off from a big box store parking lot during a rain shower.

WCES and SRT continue to coordinate with Georgia EPD and the EPA, following their guidelines for containment and cleanup.

Anyone with information concerning this crime should contact the Rossville Police Department or Walker County Sheriff's Office.  The thieves left behind a bag filled with copper and some tools.  A reward of $1,000 is being offered by Walker County Government for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible.



Man Shot By Chattanooga Police Faces Attempted First-Degree Murder Charge

A man who was shot by Chattanooga Police on Saturday has been released from the hospital and is facing several criminal charges, including attempted first-degree murder.   Joel Deon Harris, 50, is also charged with unlawful possession of a weapon, theft under $500, resisting arrested and aggravated assault on a police officer.   The incident happened ... (click for more)

Hixson Woman Charged In Connection With Severe Burn To Child That Police Say Has Pattern Of An Iron

A Hixson woman has been charged in connection with a severe burn to her child that police said has the shape of a clothes iron. Tihonie Barnett, of 4664 Cary Lane, was charged with aggravated child abuse. Police were summoned to Children's Hospital where the child was being treated for a large burn on the back of her right arm, which was severe enough to cause the flesh ... (click for more)

The Boss, Claude Ramsey

I try not to overuse the word great, but we lost a great man today, Claude Ramsey. I had the pleasure of serving under him as director of Commercial and Industrial Properties for 14 years while he was the Hamilton County Assessor of Property. He was probably the smartest person I have ever known. He was tough but patient, kind, caring and compassionate. He knew how to get ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Please ‘Connect The Dots’

Get your crayons out and let’s play “connect the dots.” Next Thursday (June 28 th ) the Tennessee Educational Equity Coalition, in partnership with Chattanooga’s publicly-flawed non-profit educational foundation, UnifiEd, will hold its regional meeting at Chattanooga’s Bessie Smith Hall. The coalition was formed to advocate for “students of color” in Tennessee, and among those on ... (click for more)

Fairyland Swimmers Upset Country Club

The Fairyland Flash had their best swim meet of the season at home Tuesday night when they beat the Country Club Wavemakers by a single point, handing the visitors their first loss of the season after four straight wins. Country Club had prevailed by a lopsided 466-322 margin just last Thursday, but the Flash was more than ready for the competition the second time around. ... (click for more)

The Ups-And-Downs Of Life In The Minor Leagues

Life as a minor league player can be tough. Few players ever get to live out their dream as a regular player at the big league level. For every player who realizes their dream, another player is forced to be released or find another organization to keep his dream alive. Recently the Lookouts have lost T.J.White, one of the most popular players in recent years. Word has come ... (click for more)