February 19, 2002
TDEC PRESS RELEASE - Summertown Utility District requests suspension of permit application

The Board of Commissioners for the Summertown Utility District has asked the state to temporarily suspend a determination on its application for a permit to withdraw up to one million gallons per day from the Buffalo River. In a letter dated December 18, 2001, the district says they need to use Buffalo River water in the future, but for now they wish to pursue "coordinated and cooperative regional watershed efforts." The letter proposes certain steps to be taken to enhance protection of the river and promote regional planning. Potential inclusion of the Buffalo in the state scenic river system is specifically mentioned.

An August 7, 2001 public hearing attracted more than 300 people. The majority of attendees were downstream residents expressing their strong desire to protect the Buffalo River. Following the public forum, letters from citizens and conservation groups addressed similar concerns.

"We hope the enthusiasm for the Buffalo River continues," says Paul E. Davis, Director of TDEC's Division of Water Pollution Control. "TDEC helped facilitate this decision and we fully agree with the district on the importance of regional planning."

TDEC will honor Summertown Utility District's request and suspend its determination on the permit.


February 19, 2002
NEWS ANNOUNCEMENT - TDEC suspends all future inter-basin transfer permits

On January 25, 2002, Justin Wilson, Deputy to the Governor for Policy, announced that all future inter basin permits will be suspended until further study.  Specifically, Mr. Wilson asked TDEC to: "please deny any new inter-basin transfer .permit applications received after the date of this letter until you are confident that all reasonably foreseeable needs for water under all climatic conditions will be met.

Mr. Wilson says in his letter: "Therefore, please deny any new inter-basin transfer permit applications received after the date of this letter until you are confident that all reasonably foreseeable needs for
water under all climatic conditions will be met. Specifically in regard to making this determination for the Lower Tennessee-Hiwassee River basin, you should use the TVA study, unless an applicant furnishes the same quality of information."


Georgia Power Loses Chattahoochee Water Bid

TVA Reservoir Operations Study Comments due April 26!!



'We need to work together'
County, city officials meet to form consensus on future of water in Cumberland


Published Oct. 16, 2001
By Jim Young
Chronicle staff writer

It had been a long time since Crossville officials and anyone representing the county water utility districts sat down face-to-face to discuss raw water supply needs for Cumberland County and the troubles between the two sides.
Until Thursday.
That's when Crossville City Council members and Cumberland County Executive Brock Hill met on the matter in Crossville City Hall. William Mayberry III, former city council member and current chairman of the board of the Greater Cumberland County Chamber of Commerce, pulled the meeting together in an attempt to get discussion on a raw water supply going. A water supply is needed for future growth of the area to continue.
"Were all aware of the need for water in the future," said Mayberry to the group. "The most important part of the process is the planning and planning is needed now. We all need to get on the same page and work together for the benefit of the community."
Mayberry explained that he does not know if the water authority is the best way to accomplish the community's goals, but it is a potential vehicle.
"You know were not interested in joining the water authority," replied council member Boyd Wyatt. Hill explained that he was at the meeting for the same reason the city council was. "We're more than just elected officials, but residents, too," he said.
Hill explained after Catoosa Utility District was unsuccessful in its attempt to obtain a permit for a new lake, he talked to those in Nashville who had said no and asked them how the answer could made affirmative. Hill listed some of those "hows" as long-range planning and a joint project to serve all the water suppliers in the area. A new study, funded by a federal grant, is under way to show the region's known water needs 50 years into the future.
Crossville Mayor J.H. Graham III said he understood that a dam anywhere in Tennessee would be difficult to get. Graham said the plan is for the city to be the regional purveyor of water.
"When the current set of projects are completed, the city will have 7 million gallons in the air (in water storage tanks), 7 million gallons in the pipes and a capacity to produce 7 million gallons a day," detailed Graham. "Within 10 years well be bumping our head on the peak use of 7 million gallons a day capacity."
Hill said that, although he serves as the county executive, he grew up in the city limits of Crossville, owns a business in the city and still works in the city. "I love Crossville," he said. "It's not an 'us vs. them' thing, it's an 'us thing,' and the bottom line is we're going to run out of water and we need to work together."
In discussing how the city and the utility districts have been trying to prepare for future tight water supplies, Hill said he believes the quickest way from point A to point B is a straight line. He added what has been going on, though, has been zigzagging, with one district drilling wells, another looking at building a treatment plant on a small lake, and one that already has. The bottom line, according to Hill, is that if the city loses the utility districts as customers, city customers will pay more for water while the utility districts are spending money they don't need to spend.
Graham restated his long-time suggestion that the city and the regional water authority go into a 50/50 partnership on a raw water supply project.
"The city of Crossville has bought the community time," said Graham. "We've spent a barrel of money and with help from the state at a low 1.7 percent interest rate.:
Hill responded, "You're doing exactly what you need to do. And thank you."
The issue of friction between the two sides was also discussed.
"We need to make an effort not to personalize this," Hill said. "It has been contentious between the city and the utility districts, but we've got to sit down and start talking."
The problem is the relationship between the city and the utility districts, agreed council member Earl Dean.
"People on the street don't think either one of us are doing anything," said Wyatt. "I know that's not true, but that's the impression."
Hill said, "The only possible way to have a lake up here is a joint effort, otherwise a pipeline may be the only way."
Graham turned to Hill. "I've asked the utility districts to join us. We'll take over their employees, take over their debt and give their customers a cheaper rate," the mayor said. "They said, 'No.' Why is that?"
Hill replied, "I don't know."
Hill reminded the group that the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation continues to hold up the Cumberland Plateau as a model for future water supply issues in the state.
"The process is going to take several years," said Crossville City Manager Jack Miller.
No follow-up meeting is scheduled at the present time.

What's a River without Water?

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