Spencer/Rumbling Falls 

Sewage Treatment Plant


Deal keeps discharge out of cave system


Update on Spencer/Rumbling Falls Sewage Treatment Plant  



April 26, 2000  

Dry Fork Creek near Fall Creek Falls State Park Receives High Quality Designation - Spencer Sewage Plant Permit Stopped - For Now after pressure from a coalition of cave and environmental groups and EPA, the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) was forced to re-evaluate Dry Fork Creek near Fall Creek Falls State Park and subsequently change its designation to a "High Quality" or Tier II stream.  This stream, which flows into the park and feeds into a large, newly discovered cave containing rare species, is proposed as the receiving stream for the planned Spencer sewage plant.  The new Tier II designation stops for now the issuance of the permit that was expected this week and means that no degradation is allowed without special approval by the Water Quality Control Board.  TDEC plans to go to the Board on Tuesday, May 23 to ask approval to degrade this High Quality stream and issue the permit.  TDEC is still refusing to comply with regulations and conduct a full environmental impact study or hold a public hearing despite wide spread demands, saying that requests were made too late.  They also continue to claim that the public notice process was done properly (but it wasn't).  Memos from state files found today show that plans for a public hearing last summer were canceled at the request of a local politician.  The May Board hearing will be open to the public and we understand people will be allowed to speak.  With attorneys now working on the case for the coalition of interested groups, we may ask that the hearing be delayed, postponed, or moved so as to accommodate the interested and effected public. 


For more information contact: Barry Sulkin, Tennessee PEER (Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility), phone (615) 313-7066, email [email protected]


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Tennessee Clean Water Network
P.O. Box 1521
Knoxville, TN 37901
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