November 12, 2002

In this Issue:
1) TCWN WORKING FOR YOU!: Monterey Sewage Treatment Plan
2) ACTION ALERT: TN Oil and Gas Drilling Rules and Regulations State Study Committee Seeks Input at Public Hearing
3) ACTION ALERT: Passenger Rail in Tennessee
4) ACTION ALERT: Push For Fair Public Hearing on Proposed Uranium Enrichment Plant!
5) NEWS: Enforcement of Environmental Laws Has Slipped, Democrats Say
6) RESOURCE: Hot List Collecting Important Dates
7) RESOURCE: Consider The Source - A Pocket Guide to Protecting Your Drinking Water
8) JOB ANNOUNCEMENT: Tennessee Partnership on Organizing and Public Policy Coordinator
9) PUBLIC NOTICE: Tennessee Division of Water Pollution Control Solicits Water Quality Data
10) PUBLIC NOTICE: TDEC Public Notices for NPDES Permits
11) PUBLIC NOTICE: TDEC Public Notice for TMDL for Fecal Coliform
12) PUBLIC NOTICE: Aquatic Resource Alteration Permit (ARAP) Notices


1) TCWN WORKING FOR YOUR!: Monterey Sewage Treatment Plan
[This is a new feature to enews. We will provide you with a short update on our program work and to keep you informed about how we are working for you and the protection of your watersheds.]

As part of TCWN's enforcement campaign, we are tracking a Sewage Treatment Plan in Monterey, TN.
This facility discharges into the Falling Water River. A recent dye tracing study, however, determined that effluent is also reaching the Calf Killer River through a series of underground caves. This potentially threatens the groundwater all throughout the Calfkiller Valley. Of equal concern is that this facility has had an egregious number of violations over the past five years mostly for dumping untreated sewage directly into the local waterways. The NPDES permit for this facility is currently up for review by the state and TCWN is participating in the public process, researching the facility's history, conducted a short and will work to ensure this facility complies with the Clean Water such that all measures are taken to protect the two rivers and cave systems from water pollution.

For more information about TCWN's work, to become a member, or volunteer please visit our web-site www.tcwn.org.


2) ACTION ALERT: TN Oil and Gas Drilling Rules and Regulations State Study Committee Seeks Input at Public Hearing
The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) announced today the beginning of a public comment period and a public hearing opportunity concerning a state study committee review of Tennessee's oil and gas drilling regulations and laws. Citizens are invited to critique current policy, submit proposals or offer changes and recommendations for improving Tennessee's oil and gas regulations to better protect Tennessee's natural environment and economy.

An informal open house and public hearing will be held at Central High School in Wartburg, Tennessee, located at the junction of Highway 62 and 27, on Tuesday, December 3, 2002. Public comments will be accepted through December 6, 2002.

The open house will begin at 5:00 p.m. to allow citizens to review current proposals, talk informally with state officials, ask questions and share feedback. A more formal public hearing will be held from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. where citizens can hear a brief presentation on potential proposals to improve state oil and gas policy or regulations. The public hearing will also include an open forum where citizens can make statements and offer feedback on the record.

A runaway oil well and explosion in Morgan County resulted in an oil spill in a tributary near the boundary of the Obed National Wild and Scenic River National Park. The Big South Fork National Park and Recreation Area is also located in the same region. The spill was believed to be the result of an unusual geologic condition where oil was trapped under the earth at very high pressures. When the oil deposit was tapped by drilling, these high pressures were transferred to the surface and overwhelmed the oil well and drilling rig, thereby resulting in the spill.

In the aftermath of the spill, Deputy to the Governor for Policy Justin P. Wilson requested the two primary state agencies charged with environmental protection and economic development to conduct a review of current oil and gas policy and regulations.

"We need the public's assistance and input to ensure that we are doing everything within reason to protect our most precious natural resources," said TDEC Commissioner Milton H. Hamilton, Jr. Tony Grande, Commissioner of the Department of Economic and Community Development added that "ideas and proposals are welcomed and needed to help the oil and gas industry operate safely and successfully in Tennessee."

Additional information on the public meetings, meeting directions, current proposals and comments can be sent to www.tdec.net/epo/oilandgaspolicy/index.html, fax to 615-532-0120 or mail to Dodd Galbreath, TDEC Policy Office, 401 Church Street, 21st Floor, L&C Tower, Nashville, TN, 37243.

3) ACTION ALERT: Passenger Rail in Tennessee
Next week, Tennesseans have a wonderful opportunity to help bring passenger rail to our state and to take hundreds of thousands of big rigs off our highways every year (as many as 350,000 according to TDOT).

TDOT will hold public meetings in Memphis, Nashville, and Knoxville to hear your thoughts on its recent rail study. In case you haven't heard, two years ago Congress mandated that TDOT study the feasibility of bringing passenger rail to Tennessee. Lo and behold, TDOT's Division of Public Transportation, Water and Rail discovered that it is indeed feasible, and it would save more than a billion dollars compared to adding more lanes to our interstate highways. Conveniently, most of the rail lines already exist.

This is our chance to get involved proactively. WE NEED TO PACK THE HOUSEs! Let's show TDOT loud and clear that we want and need passenger rail in Tennessee.

All meetings run from 6 to 8:30pm
Memphis: November 12 in meeting room C of the Memphis/Shelby County Public Library, 3030 Poplar St
Nashville: November 13 in the Metro Nashville Howard Office Building Auditorium
Knoxville: November 14 in the small assembly room of the City/County building

Call TDOT at (615) 741 2781 for more information

4) ACTION ALERT: Push For Fair Public Hearing on Proposed Uranium Enrichment Plant!
You may remember that in the late 1990's, citizen intervenors successfully stopped Louisiana Energy Services from building a uranium enrichment plant in a rural African-American community near Homer, Louisiana. Well, LES is back, in a new and more virulent form. In January, LES plans to apply for an NRC license to build and operate a new uranium enrichment plant in Hartsville, Tennessee.

In order to avoid the outcome of their first licensing case, LES has asked the NRC to grease the skids by pre-judging, in LES's favor. The key issues on which the intervenors succeeded or did significant damage in the previous case-environmental justice, financial qualifications, and need for the facility-plus a few other issues that are problematic for LES, such as antitrust and foreign ownership. LES has sent the NRC six flimsy "white papers" that encourage the NRC to decide in LES's favor on all of these issues.

The NRC should have laughed at LES's inappropriate request that it make a "binding" pre-hearing decision on key licensing issues, and tossed LES's white papers in the circular file. But the NRC is taking LES seriously. The NRC has published the white papers in the Federal Register and asked for public comment by November 13. See 67 Fed. Reg. 61932-61933 (October 2, 2002).

If the NRC lets LES hijack the hearing process, citizens will not get a hearing on the LES plant (or if a hearing is held, it won't mean anything as the real decisions will have already been made via the "white papers") This will set a terrible precedent for all future NRC licensing cases. Your comments on the travesty-in-the-making are urgently needed.

Major issues to cover:
A. There are only two ways the NRC can make decisions that bind interested members of the public: through the hearing process, or through rulemakings. This Federal Register notice does not comply with NRC procedures or basic concepts of fairness for either a hearing or a rulemaking.

B. The white papers are totally inadequate to resolve the issues they address. The only fair way these six issues can be addressed is through the licensing process. If the NRC decides that it can resolve them through a rulemaking, then it should propose a specific resolution of the issues and explain why it is not necessary to use the hearing process to get at the specific facts of the case.

C. The publication of the white papers raises serious questions about whether the NRC can act as a dispassionate appellate judge in any licensing case involving the proposed LES plant. The NRC appears to be going along with a LES proposal that it pre-judge every significant issue in the licensing case. How can an agency that departs from its own well-established procedures, for the purpose of pre-judging virtually all the important issues in a case, be considered to be objective as the ultimate appellate tribunal in the case?

Send your comments to: Michael Lesar, Chief, Rules Review and Directives Branch, Division of Administration Services, Office of Administration, US NRC, Washington DC 20555. Please send a copy of your comments to NIRS, 1424 16th Street NW, #404, Washington, DC 20036.

For more background information on LES and these issues, check NIRS website, www.nirs.org. There you'll find a four-page factsheet, a press release and a background sheet on the LES "white papers."

5) NEWS: Enforcement of Environmental Laws Has Slipped, Democrats Say
By KATHARINE Q. SEELYE
Congressional Democrats, trying to revive the issue of the environment in a political atmosphere increasingly devoted to war, said today that the Bush administration had fallen down on enforcing the nation's environmental laws.

In a report to be released on Tuesday, the Democrats found a "dramatic decline" in enforcement of environmental statutes during the Bush administration compared with the Clinton administration based on analyses of data from the Environmental Protection Agency.

The Bush administration initiated about half the number of administrative actions against polluting companies in two time periods compared with the agency under President Bill Clinton, the report said.

The agency disputed the report, saying the number for the Clinton administration was inflated because of a new rule on drinking water coming into effect.

The report comes five weeks before the Nov. 5 elections, at a time when Democrats have expressed frustration over the Republicans' monopolizing the public's attention on a possible war with Iraq. Polls show that voters trust Republicans more on issues of national defense, while they favor Democrats on
domestic issues like the environment. But it is not clear that the Democrats can gain traction on these issues.

The report said the total amount of penalties and remedies recovered from administrative enforcement actions was much less under Mr. Bush than under Mr. Clinton. From Jan. 20, 2001, to March 7, 2002, the Bush administration recovered $165 million from polluters, compared with $845 million recovered by the Clinton administration from Dec. 4, 1999, to Jan. 19, 2001.

The report also compared the actions taken by both administrations in a three-month period, from April 20, 2000, to July 20, 2000, under President Clinton and from April 20, 2001, to July 20, 2001, under President Bush. In those periods, the Bush administration recovered $53 million while the Clinton administration recovered $289 million.

Similarly, the report said, the average settlement with each polluter during the Bush administration has been about 37 percent of that in the Clinton administration, an average of $85,000 during the three-month period under President Bush and $226,000 under President Clinton.

Joe Martyak, a spokesman for the Environmental Protection Agency, said the report was misleading for several reasons.

He said the Clinton agency took more administrative actions because of a new rule in 2000 requiring the agency to make sure utilities were notifying consumers of the contents of their drinking water. "The number of administrative actions jumped, but not because they were enforcing the same laws better,"
Mr. Martyak said. "They had another law to enforce."

6) RESOURCE: Hot List Collecting Important Dates
We are collecting a list of important dates of significant environmental and conservation events in 2003 for our next issue of the Hot List which will be issued in mid January.

The Hot List is being updated to provide the most up-to-date information possible to the incoming administration team. The goal is to identify any major environmental or conservation event in 2003 that are date sensitive. Please provide one or more event and its action date that is pertinent to your work. A catalogue of key events will be published in the Hot List and distributed to its readership.

Submissions can include events, notable meetings in state or out of state, public comment periods, NEPA document review periods, grant or major project deadlines, state, federal or private report releases, major study releases, key anniversaries of legislation, state or national celebrations or other significant environmental or conservation events.

Your assistance and cooperation will be greatly appreciated.

7) RESOURCE: Consider The Source - A Pocket Guide to Protecting Your Drinking Water
Third in a series of outreach and assistance publications, this Pocket Guide includes a discussion of the Clean Water Act and Safe Drinking Water Act regulatory and voluntary resources, tools, management measures, and finances sources available to States, local governments, and consumers. The guide also provides information on the integration efforts of the Underground Injection Control program with the Source Water Protection program. For further information please contact Kevin McCormack at
202-564-3890 or Sherri Umansky at 202-564-4639.

8) JOB ANNOUNCEMENT: Tennessee Partnership on Organizing and Public Policy Coordinator
The Tennessee Partnership on Organizing and Public Policy (TPOPP) is a four-year old collaboration of nine organizing and public policy groups working together to develop a long-term strategy for achieving significant social, economic and environmental justice on the state level. Begun in the fall of 1998, TPOPP is currently working on state issues related to healthcare, welfare reform, and tax reform.

Position description:
The TPOPP coordinator will be supervised by a five-member steering committee that is ultimately responsible to the Governing Body, comprised of members from each of the nine member organizations. All responsibilities of the position are carried out working closely with the steering committee.
Major responsibilities include:

1. Staffing the governing body and steering committee meetings.
2. Facilitating communication among the nine partners and our allies.
3. Developing tools to help member groups better understand and respond to the state issues the Governing Body decides to work on.
4. Coordinating convenings, strategy sessions and other gatherings.
5. Working with others to develop tools that allow member groups and allies to become more capable of influencing state public policy.
6. Providing administrative oversight of the TPOPP office, including communicating with the partnership's fiscal sponsor and managing TPOPP grants and records.
7. Coordinating contracted services.
8. Fundraising, including grant and report writing.

Salary and benefits
The coordinator position may be full or part time, depending on workplan developments and applicants. Starting annual salary at $31,500 (full time). Employer-paid health, unemployment, and worker's compensation insurance, retirement benefits. Generous vacation and other benefits. Use of staff car. Office location to be determined.

Applications
Women, working-class people, and people of color are encouraged to apply.
Send cover letter and resume to TPOPP, P.O. Box 1364 Columbia, TN 38402 or fax: 931-380-2390
Applications must be received at TPOPP by Monday, December 2, 2002.

9) PUBLIC NOTICE: Tennessee Division of Water Pollution Control Solicits Water Quality Data
The Tennessee Division of Water Pollution Control is soliciting data for the purposes of developing the state's 2002 303(d) list of impaired waters. Section 303(d) of the federal Clean Water Act (CWA) requires the development of a list of Tennessee streams not currently meeting state water quality standards that would benefit from the development of a site-specific study called a Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) and the implementation of a pollution control strategy. This compilation, called the 303(d) List, is
subject to review and approval by the United States Environmental Protection Agency. The 1998 version of the 303(d) List may be downloaded from the Department's Home Page at www.state.tn.us/environment/water.htm.

10) PUBLIC NOTICES: TDEC Public Notices for NPDES Permits
The Tennessee Division of Water Pollution Control proposes to issue, reissue, deny or terminate National Pollutant Discharge Elimination (NPDES) permits as listed below. These permits authorize and regulate discharges of treated wastewater and storm water from mining and processing facilities, including access roads and haul roads located within the affected areas. For more details visit www.state.tn.us/environment/new.htm.

ASARCO, Inc. 2421 Old Andrew Johnson Hwy., Strawberry Plains, TN 37871. Young Mill, NPDES Permit TN0027677. The existing sphalerite (zinc) ore milling facility discharges treated wastewater and storm water to Beaver Creek in Jefferson County. The applicant is requesting permit renewal based on currently approved plans.

Campbell Co. Highway Dept., PO Box 19, Jacksboro, TN 37757. Area 1, NPDES Permit TN0063606. This existing limestone quarry and processing facility, discharges treated wastewater and storm water into Cuckle Creek in Campbell Co. The applicant is requesting permit renewal based on currently approved palns.

Big Fork Mining Co., PO Box 727, Dunlap, TN 37327. Area 15, NPDES Permit TN0071480, OM-71480-97-15. This existing shale mine discharges treated wastewater and storm water into North Suck Creek and South Suck Creek in Marion Co. The applicant is adding seven acres and one discharge monitoring point to the permit.

Tennessee Mining, Inc., PO Box 465, Jacksboro, TN 37757. SRS Surface Mine, NPDES Permit TN0076198, SMCRA Permit 3066. This proposed coal surface mine discharges treated wastewater and storm water into Hundred Acre Hollow and Prudential Hollow in Morgan Co. Applicants for NPDES permits will discharge to surface waters which may be classified for navigation, domestic water supply, industrial water supply, fish and aquatic life, recreation, irrigation, or livestock watering, and wildlife.

11) PUBLIC NOTICE: TDEC Public Notice for TMDL for Fecal Coliform
Public Notice of Availability of Proposed Total Maximum Daily Load for Fecal Coliform in Wolf River (Mouth to Fletcher Cr.), Wolf River (Fletcher Cr. to Germantown Rd.), Fletcher Creek, Cypress Creek, Grissum Creek, Wolf River Watershed.

Announcement is hereby given of the availability of Tennessee's proposed Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs) for fecal coliform in the Wolf River watershed located in western Tennessee. Section 303(d) of the Clean Water Act requires states to develop TMDLs for waters on their impaired waters list. TMDLs must determine the allowable pollutant load that the water can assimilate, allocate that load among the various point and nonpoint sources, include a margin of safety, and address seasonality.

Fletcher Creek, Cypress Creek, Grissum Creek, and two segments of the Wolf River (mouth to Fletcher Cr. and Fletcher Cr. to Germantown Road) are listed on Tennessee's final 1998 303(d) list as not supporting designated use classifications due, in part, to pathogens associated with urban storm water runoff, storm sewer systems, and agriculture. The TMDLs utilize Tennessee's general water quality criteria, USGS continuous record station flow data, in-stream water quality monitoring data, a calibrated dynamic water quality model, and an appropriate Margin of Safety (MOS) to establish allowable loadings of fecal
coliform which will result in reduced in-stream concentrations and the attainment of water quality standards. The TMDLs require reductions in in-stream fecal coliform loading of approximately 51% to 88% in the four listed waterbodies.

The proposed fecal coliform TMDLs may be downloaded from the Department of Environment and Conservation website: http://www.state.tn.us/environment/wpc/tmdl.htm

Technical questions regarding this TMDL should be directed to the following members of the Division of Water PollutionControl staff:
Bruce R. Evans, P.E., Watershed Management Section, Telephone: 615-532-0668
Sherry H. Wang, Ph.D., Watershed Management Section, Telephone: 615-532-0656

Persons wishing to comment on the TMDLs are invited to submit their comments in writing no later than December 16, 2002 to:
Division of Water Pollution Control
Watershed Management Section
6th Floor, L & C Annex
401 Church Street
Nashville, TN 37243-1534

12) PUBLIC NOTICE: Aquatic Resource Alteration Permit (ARAP) Notices
The following is a list of current public notices of permitting decisions, public hearings, and rule-making activities. Public comment and participation are encouraged on all of these issues. Comments on any issue are welcome at any time and may be made by sending e-mail to [email protected]

NRS 02.368 TDOT, Mountain Creek/Stringer's Branch, Hardin County, proposed widening of SR-8 (Signal Mountain Blvd/Rd).
NRS 02.317 TDOT, Fourth Creek, Knox County, proposed widening of I-40/75 -culvert extensions.
NRS 02.320 TDOT, Plumb Creek, Knox County, proposed widening of Middlebrook Pike.

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