Tennessee Clean Water Network
625 Market St.
Knoxville, TN 37902
PO BOX 1521
Knoxville, TN 37902
TCWN initiated its first CAFO inspection program, visiting and sampling 7 CAFOs in West Tennessee. Continued site visits and sampling will be conducted to determine which CAFOs are in violation of their permits and should be pursued for further enforcement.
We commented on over 70 individual permits. These comments included addressing nutrient and/or dissolved oxygen concerns of 25 wastewater treatment facilities. Out of the 70 permits on which we commented 51 have been issued and over thirty percent of those were changed as a result of our comments. These 70 do not include our comments on general 401 Certifications, the general MS4 Phase II permit, the general CAFO permit, the general construction stormwater permit, or individual MS4 permits.
TCWN submitted comments against a permit that would allow the Nestlé water bottling plant in Macon County to increase water withdrawal from Bennett Hill Spring and a tributary to Salt Lick Creek. Our comments were instrumental in Nestlé's decision to extract its request to withdraw more water, which would have had a devastating impact on aquatic life and habitat, not to mention the permanent loss of the water to the watershed and surrounding communities.
TCWN along with members and other environmental groups worked together to defeat 14 potentially bad water bills in the Tennessee State Legislature. Though one passed, it was very watered down. However, Tennessee's legislative session is two years. Many of these bills will come back.
The Limited Resource Waters Bill would have removed protections from an estimated 30,000 miles of streams statewide, resulting in the potential to pipe, cut-off or pollute streams, and therefore destroy water quality with no repercussionsor negative consequences. TCWN, with support from hundreds of members and concerned citizens, fought this bill and won.
So far this year, TCWN has commented on 24 irresponsible permit applications that would have increased the amount of pollution in our waters.
TCWN unanimously passed legislation giving the public access to water pollution enforcement actions. To see enforcement actions visit http://state.tn.us/environment/wpc/enforcement/
TCWN worked with attorneys to reach a settlement with TDEC that will allow for better criteria to protect our most precious waters, like the Hatchie River.
In the 2006 triennial review, TCWN was influential in the creation of a new definition for Tier II waters that includes some place-based parks and federal requirements, but requires only an alternatives analysis for waters that are better than the water quality criteria set as the minimum.
Launched our Build the River Movement program with a focus on community organizing that has assisted over a dozen communities facing threats to our clean water.
Third party permit appeal right was granted to Tennesseans due to legislation TCWN created and worked to get passed. This is a right granted to us in the Clean Water Act that the state had denied to Tennessean for 30 years.
In December 2004, we settled a consent decree with the Knoxville Utility Board for sanitary sewer overflows (SSOs). This settlement is the most progressive clean-up schedule in the nation.
In coalition with other groups, TCWN reached an agreement with Alcoa Power Generating Inc. to preserve 10,000 acres of land adjacent to Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The agreement puts water back into two previously dry stretches of river, and provides more than $12 million for conservation projects and enhanced recreational facilities.
TCWN led a statewide organizing effort around Tennessee’s 2003 triennial review of water quality standards. Our most important success was the adoption of new antidegradation rules. Antidegradation rules are used to clean waters that are polluted and protect those that are pristine. The 2003 rules include: opportunities for public notification and involvement; an “appeal” process for antidegradation determination decisions; and “stay” provisions to halt a proposed activity during the appeal process.
TCWN and the Southern Environmental Law Center successfully worked with the US EPA to establish a 10-year schedule for the state’s Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) program limiting industrial pollution to state waterways. TCWN held a workshop to encourage local community groups to participate in the TMDL process.