Update on Spencer/Rumbling Falls Sewage Treatment Plant

An attempt by the town of Spencer to operate its new sewage plant — but not discharge effluent into a creek that runs into the Rumbling Falls Cave system — was refused yesterday.

Attorneys for the town had asked Davidson County Chancellor Ellen Hobbs Lyle to reword her Feb. 28 order so it would not stop the plant from operating but only prevent discharge to the creek.

 ''We can tinker with the language, but that seems unnecessary,'' Lyle told attorneys yesterday.

The state permit, which is under challenge in court, authorizes both the operation of the plant and its discharge into Dry Fork Creek, said a lawyer for the Tennessee Environmental Council, Nashville Grotto and other groups that are the plaintiffs.

The groups say the discharge would damage the cave system, which has many rare species. The cave, which is part of Fall Creek Falls State Park, includes one of the largest cave rooms in the country.

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