December 10, 2002

1) TCWN WORKING FOR YOU: TCWN Petitions EPA to Intervene to Protect Tennessee's Waters
2) ACTION ALERT: Comments Still Needed on Oil Drilling Regulations
3) NEWS: Southern Forest Resource Assessment Finalized
4) NEWS: Whole Effluent Toxicity Test Method Guidelines Published
5) NEWS: EPA Withdraws Federal Water Quality Criteria
6) NEWS:Water Posting Lifted on Portions of Cumberland River, Sinking Creek, & Trail Fork Big Creek
7) RESOURCE: Fact Sheet on Bush's Plans to Limit the CWA
8) RESOURCE: National Clean Water Network Launches New and Improved Website
9) RESOURCE: Clean Water Act Web-Based Training Module
10) RESOURCE: Summer Intern Program for Environmental Justice Community Organizations
11) GRANTS: River Restoration Grants
12) NOTICE: TDEC to Issue Conditional ARAP to Vulcan Construction Materials
13) NOTICE: US Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District Public Notices
14) NOTICE: Aquatic Resource Alteration Permit (ARAP) Notices

1) TCWN WORKING FOR YOU: TCWN Petitions EPA to Intervene to Protect Tennessee's Waters
Tennessee Clean Water Network, Tennessee PEER, Tennessee Environmental Council, & American Rivers have petitioned the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to reject Tennessee's proposed 303(d) list. Required by the Clean Water Act the 303(d) list must list all state waters that are impaired and threatened waters. Threatened waters are defined as those waters that are high quality but being degraded, as well as those waters that are declining in quality or face anticipated loads/impacts such that are likely to not meet standards in the near future. The list is designed primarily to identify those waters that require "pollution budgets" known as Total Maximum Daily Loads. The 303(d) list, however, is also meant to help direct state agencies and policy makers in making critical decisions for permitting, funding, public education, and other matters. The list, as it stands, does not give decision makers an accurate picture of polluted waters in Tennessee, there are too many waters that are still polluted or threatened and have been excluded from the list.

TDEC listed only two waterbodies that are threatened by severe pollution. Both are waterbodies that have been under intense public scrutiny. With over 60,000 miles of rivers and streams, and 500,000 acres of lakes in the state it is hard to believe that only two waterbodies fit the category of being threatened. Threatened waters are supposed to be identified and listed so proper permits and controls can be put in place BEFORE they get polluted.

Other waterbodies that were previously on the 303(d) list four years ago have been removed, due to the fact that Total Maximum Daily Loads (or water pollution budgets) were created to reduce the pollution. We don't know of a single example anywhere in Tennessee where an established TMDL resulted in the cleanup of a waterbody. All of these waters are as polluted as the day they were put on the list. Once these waters are removed from the list they take a back seat to waters still on the list. Out of site, out of mind.

Another point of contention is the state's refusal to use water quality data available through the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA). Currently, TVA is the primary agency conducting water quality monitoring on the Tennessee River reservoirs. From TVA's own data, it appears that several of the Tennessee River reservoirs are considered impaired. A comparison between TVA's data and the state's 303(d) list indicates a lack of agreement. According to the regulations the state must use "all existing and readily available water quality-related data and information."

The creation of the 303(d) list is a requirement of the Clean Water Act, which is delegated from EPA to the states. EPA ultimately is responsible for making sure that all provisions within the Clean Water Act are met. Several groups in Florida have gone so far as to file suit against their state agency over a 303(d) list they feel does not meet the CWA requirements.


2) ACTION ALERT: Comments Still Needed on Oil Drilling Regulations
In the wake of July's oil spill and fire that polluted and closed a section of the Obed Wild and Scenic River in Morgan County, the State has imposed interim protective requirements and appointed a committee to develop recommendations for laws, regulations, strategies, and/or technologies to avoid oil spills in the future. A number of conservation groups, as well as representatives from the oil and gas industry, have met with committee appointees and submitted recommendations. Clearly the oil and gas industry is very influential. The State is seeking public input, and a strong showing of people who support environmentally responsible drilling practices is vital. Please make your voice heard to help protect the Obed Wild and Scenic River, the Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area and other precious natural resources!

Here's what you can do:
-------------------------------
1. Provide input to the State in support of stronger environmental protection during drilling activities. Log on to http://www.state.tn.us/environment/epo/oilandgaspolicy/, where the State has posted proposed changes, oil spill photos and maps, as well as links to pertinent laws and regulations. The comment deadline has been extended till December 31, 2002. To submit comments, click on "Submit Ideas..." or send them to Dodd Galbreath, TDEC Policy Office, 401 Church St, 21st Floor, L&C Tower, Nashville, TN 37243, fax: 615-532-0120.

Detailed comments are welcome, but you don't need to dive into complicated regulations to formulate recommendations. Here are some major points you could address:
a. The public needs better notification of and opportunity to comment on drilling permit applications.
b. Much wider buffer zones are needed between drilling sites and rivers or streams.
c. The Division of Water Pollution Control should have a role in inspecting drilling sites, evaluating drilling permit applications, and developing erosion control and pollution prevention measures for drillers.
d. Increase the bond amount that drillers must post to ensure well and site reclamation and/or establish an oil spill contingency fund.
e. Increase funding to support strengthened State oversight and enforcement.
NPCA has a sample letter and more information at its TAKE ACTION site: http://www.npca.org/take_action/action_alerts/ActionAlert.asp?strAction=link&lngAlertID=281&G=1

2. Send a letter to the editor of your local paper.

Together, we can exert a strong influence to preserve clean water, fragile ecosystems, and pristine wilderness areas. Please contribute your voice!

Source: Action Alert written by Friends of the Obed, National Parks Conservation Association, Tennessee Clean Water Network, and Tennessee Citizens for Wilderness Planning


3) NEWS: Southern Forest Resource Assessment Finalized
See http://www.srs.fs.fed.us/sustain for a web version of the recently completed 650-page USFS Gen. Tech. Report, Southern Forest Resource Assessment. Hard copies may also be obtained from this page or by calling 828-257-4830 or by emailing <[email protected]>

Source: SAMAB/SAIN News Briefs - December 4, 2002


4) NEWS: Whole Effluent Toxicity Test Method Guidelines Published
On Nov. 19th, EPA published in the Federal Register "Guidelines Establishing Test Procedures for the Analysis of Pollutants; Whole Effluent Toxicity Test (WET) Methods," a final rule ratifying approval of several test procedures for measuring the toxicity of effluents and receiving waters. The Notice also withdrew two WET test methods from the list of nationally approved biological test procedures and revised some of the methods to improve performance and increase confidence in the results. The final rule makes minor corrections and clarifications and addresses specific stakeholder concerns. You can view the Guidelines document and learn more about WET methods on the Internet at http://www.epa.gov/waterscience/WET/.

Source: EPA's Water News 12/3/02


5) NEWS: EPA Withdraws Federal Water Quality Criteria
EPA will soon publish in the Federal Register a final rule amending its 1992 Federal regulations establishing water quality criteria for toxic pollutants for 12 states and two territories. On Nov. 26th, Administrator Christie Whitman signed the package withdrawing certain human health and aquatic life water quality criteria applicable to Vermont, Kansas, New Jersey, and the District of Columbia. These entities have adopted water quality criteria that EPA approved; therefore, the federal criteria are no longer necessary.

Source: EPA's Water News 12/3/02


6) NEWS: Water Posting Lifted on Portions of Cumberland River, Sinking Creek, & Trail Fork Big Creek
Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation Commissioner Milton Hamilton today announced water contact advisories on two small tributaries of the Cumberland River in Davidson County, a portion of Sinking Creek in downtown Lebanon, and Trail Fork Big Creek and several of its tributaries have been lifted. For more details visit the source web-site.

Source: www.state.tn.us/environment/new/htm


7) RESOURCE: Fact Sheet on Bush's Plans to Limit the CWA
The Nation Clean Water Network (CWN) steering committee has completed a fact sheet on the Bush administration's plans to limit the scope of the Clean Water Act through regulation. The fact sheet is available on a new web page dedicated to CWN campaign to stop this attack on the act. You can access the web page from the CWN website, ww.cwn.org (click on Scope of the CWA) or by going directly to http://www.cwn.org/docs/issues/juri/jurisdiction.htm.

To sign up for the Clean Water Act Jurisdiction listserv, or to request the text of the fact sheet contact Ryan Hamilton at 202-289-2421 or [email protected]

Source: Clean Water Network listserv


8) RESOURCE: National Clean Water Network Launches New and Improved Website
Check out the new National Clean Water Network web design at www.cwn.org for the latest in clean water news and action alerts. They have completely overhauled the site - saving the best tools and information and adding much more! The main page is updated at least once a week with the latest news and alerts. Explore at www.cwn.org

Source: Clean Water Network November 2002 Status Report


9) RESOURCE: Clean Water Act Web-Based Training Module
The Office of Water's Watershed Academy has made available a web-based training module called Introduction to the Clean Water Act. Users may go through the entire 65 slide course on the CWA in sequence, on the web at www.epa.gov/watertrain/cwa/, or you can jump to the particular Clean Water Act program of interest by going to the CWA Big Picture by linking to: www.epa.gov/watertrain/cwa/slide.htm.

Source: Clean Water Network November 2002 Status Report


10) RESOURCE: Summer Intern Program for Environmental Justice Community Organizations
Since 1992, the Office of Environmental Justice (OEJ), at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), has sponsored a Summer Intern Program through a cooperative agreement with the Environmental Careers Organization (ECO), a non-profit organization located in Boston. Approximately, 2,000 students from all parts of the U.S., from diverse ethnic backgrounds, and all academic levels (undergraduate, graduate and doctoral) have participated in this educational program. The students have received training on challenging science, engineering, management, education and policy-related projects at EPA. In 2000, OEJ initiated the Community Intern Program, through which more than 40 students have experienced environmental protection at the grassroots level. Because of the success of this initiative and the overwhelming response of organizations, the Community Intern Program will be available annually and will place 30 interns with local community organizations.

If your organization would like to participate in this opportunity to receive a student this summer, your project description must be received by January 31st for placement that summer. Your project must be to develop research, or be of a research nature, (i.e., conducting a survey, doing research, collecting and analyzing data) which will be used to expand scientific knowledge or understanding of the subject studied.

If you know of a student who would be interested, send his/her resume at the same time you send your project description form. To get a project description form contact: Jing Yang, Attn: Community Intern Program, ECO, 179 South Street, 5th Floor, Boston, MA 02111; E-mail to [email protected]; [email protected]; by fax to 617-426-8159. Each student will receive a stipend of $450 a week. Location of housing is the responsibility of the student.

For more information visit: http://www.epa.gov/oeca/ej


11) GRANTS: River Restoration Grants
American Rivers is seeking proposals for community-based river restoration grants as part of its partnership with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Community-Based Restoration Program. These grants are designed to provide support for local communities that are utilizing dam removal or fish passage to restore and protect the ecological integrity of their rivers and improve freshwater habitats important to migratory (anadromous) fish. Grants will be limited to projects in the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, and California.

In fiscal year 2003, applications will be considered in two cycles with the deadline for the second cycle falling on April 1, 2003. Potential applicants are encouraged to contact American Rivers to discuss potential projects prior to submitting an application.

For complete application and eligibility guidelines, please go to the American Rivers web site
www.amrivers.org/feature/restorationgrants.htm or contact them at the address below.

For more information on the NOAA Community-Based Restoration Program and its partners, please visit
www.nmfs.noaa.gov/habitat/restoration/community/index.html

Contact: Peter Raabe, River Restoration Finance Associate, American Rivers, [email protected]

Source: EPA-EJ Listserv


12) NOTICE: TDEC to Issue Conditional ARAP to Vulcan Construction Materials
The Division of Water Pollution Control, Mining Section has tentatively proposed to issue a conditional Individual Aquatic Resources Alteration Permit to Vulcan Construction Materials, LP.
Permit Application Number: ARAP-#M2002-05
The Hermitage Quarry is located adjacent to Stoners Creek. Stoners Creek, located on the northern boundary of Vulcan's property infiltrates via discrete openings or fissures in the limestone bedding planes along the left descending and flows into Hermitage Quarry. Stoners Creek infiltration rate requires Vulcan to operate three pumps twenty-four hours per day seven days per week to prevent flooding of the quarry operation. Vulcan proposes to seal the creek openings or sinkholes in a controlled manner. For more information on the permit or to see how to comment visit the source web-site.

Source: www.state.tn.us/environment/new/htm.


13) NOTICE: US Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District Public Notices
The following is a list of Public Notices that the US Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District has issued for work in waters of the United States. The notices listed are for applications currently under review. All work is proposed unless otherwise noted. If you wish to obtain a copy of a particular notice, you can contact the Corps of Engineer's office at (615) 369-7500 or by mail to US Army Engineer District, Nashville, Corps of Engineers, Attn. Regulatory Branch, 3701 Bell Road, Nashville, TN 37214.

· 02-77 - Expires 12/19/2002, Rarity Communities, Inc., Proposed Residential and Commercial Development, Roberts Branch, tributaries and adjacent wetlands, Roane County, TN
· 02-RP-01 - Expires 12/09/2002, Notice for Establishment of a Regional General Permit for Discharge of Dredged and/or Fill Material into Waters of the United States.
· 02-72 - Expires 12/04/2002, Tennessee Department of Transportation, Proposed Improvements to Middle Creek Road, Sevier County, TN

Source: http://www.orn.usace.army.mil/cof/Pnlist.htm


14) NOTICE: Aquatic Resource Alteration Permit (ARAP) Notices
The following a list of current public notices from TDEC of permitting decisions, public hearings, and rule-making activities. Public comment and participation are encouraged on all of these issues. Comments must be received within 30 days of the date that the notice is posted. Comments on any issue are welcome at any time and may be made by sending e-mail to [email protected]

December 6, 2002
NRS 02.088 Woodmore Acres Church of Christ, North Moore Road, Chattanooga, TN, Hamilton County. Wetland Impact

NRS 02.287 TDOT SR386 From 0.12 mi. west of Saundersville Rd. to 0.28 mi. east Relocated Station Camp Creek Rd. in Sumner County Stream Relocations, encapsulations, minor wetland impact.

NRS 02.298 City of Franklin, Proposed fill of 0.39 acres of wetland and two road crossings; unnamed tributary to Harpeth River, in Franklin, Williamson County

NRS 02.353 TDOT Extension of Indian Lake Blvd. From south of SR6 To SR 386 (Vietnam Veterans Blvd) Sumner County. Channel relocation, encapsulations.

NRS 02.370 TDOT SR 386 Bridge and Approaches of Relocated Station Camp Creek Road, Sumner County, Stream Relocation and encapsulation

NRS 02.429 Odell Atkins, Impoundment, Unnamed tributary to Little War Creek, Hancock County

NRS 02.427 Michael and Lisa Hughes, Impoundment, Unnamed Tributary to Cloud Creek, Hawkins County

NRS 02.350 I840 PUBLIC HEARING, Numerous Stream Crossings, Williamson County.

Source: www.state.tn.us/environment/new.htm


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