January 13, 2003

1) ACTION ALERT!!!: Water Quality Standards/Anti-degradation Policy
2) VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITY: Volunteer River Restorationist
3) PUBLIC HEARING: NPDES Permits for CAFO in Franklin Co.
4) NEWS: EPA Issues New Rule on CAFO's
5) PUBLIC HEARING: TN Water Resources Information Act
6) NEWS: CWA Wetlands Authority Upheld
7) NEWS: EPA Proposes to Withdraw 2000 TMDL Rule
8) RESOURCE: How Water Quality Standards Protect Tribal Waters
9) RESOURCE: Database on State Water Quality Standards and Designated Uses
10) RESOURCE: Storm Water Strategies CD-ROM Available
11) RESOURCE: New Watershed Project Management Guide
12) RESOURCE: National Wetlands Mitigation Action Plan
13) PUBLIC NOTICE: Braden Mountain EA Available for Review
14) PUBLIC NOTICE: US Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District
15) PUBLIC NOTICE: Aquatic Resource Alteration Permit (ARAP) Notices


1) ACTION ALERT!!!: Water Quality Standards/Anti-degradation Policy
Every three years, the state reviews their water quality standards. This year we have a unique opportunity to improve these standards due to the historic settlement agreement reached in the Spencer Sewage Treatment Plant case that protected a fragile cave system near Fall Creek Falls.

These water quality standards cover all of the state's standards for fecal coliform (sewage), pH, color, odor, and toxic chemicals as well as the state's policy on anti-degradation (the protection of higher quality waters).

On January 21, TDEC will present an outline of their proposed Water Quality Standards, including rules on anti-degradation, to the Water Quality Control Board.

At this January 21st meeting, the state will present its preliminary "outline" of a proposed policy to protect high quality waters. IT IS CRITICAL THAT THE ENVIRONMENTAL COMMUNITY BE PRESENT FOR THIS MEETING!!! This will be the first meeting where the Bredesen administration is sure to be present. Our message will be to expect the new Bredesen administration to adopt a strong set of proposed regulations for protecting higher quality waters. We need to get this message across early in order to have an impact on the new standards. Although it is unlikely that we will have an opportunity to speak at the meeting, our presence will speak for itself.

For this we will need your help. Please inform your friends, neighbors, and fellow concerned citizens about this meeting and encourage them to attend.

The meeting is in the L&C building in Nashville on January 21 at 10AM. If you would like someone from TCWN to come out and talk to your organization about the meeting and the standards or would simply like more information please contact us at 865-522-7007 or Valerie True at [email protected]

2) VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITY: Volunteer River Restorationist
Tennessee Scenic Rivers Association & Harpeth River Watershed Association are looking for folks to help restore several rivers & streams. All of the activities revolve around planting trees in the area located next to streams. The dates are listed below. Contact John McFadden of TSRA to confirm or if you have any questions, [email protected]

January 18th - Little Harpeth Riparian planting
Feb. 5th - Harvesting native trees in Lebanon
Feb. 8th - Aenon Creek Riparian planting
Feb. 15th - McCutcheon Creek tree planting

Source: E-mail by John McFadden

3) PUBLIC HEARING: NPDES Permits for CAFO in Franklin Co.
The Division of Water Pollution Control will be receiving public comment on the issuance of National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits to Tosh Farms, Inc., NPDES Permit No. TN0077755. Tosh Farms is located approximately three miles south of Huntland on White Gap Road in zip code 37345.

This permit is for the operation of a waste retention structure at a concentrated animal feeding operation (CAFO). The CAFO is located near a sinkhole north of the property and in the vicinity of Mathias Branch and Taylor. The sinkhole is listed as the receiving stream for the effluent. The permit contains effluent limitations and monitoring requirements. The permit also requires preparation of a nutrient management plan (NMP), liquid waste handling plan, and manure handling record keeping.

The hearing will be held at Huntland Community Center (100 Moore Lane, Huntland, TN 37345) Tuesday, January 21, 2003 at 7:00pm CDT. Written testimony will be accepted at the hearing and for ten (10) days following the hearing, and will be considered part of the hearing record.

Interested persons may obtain additional information, a copy of the draft permit, the fact sheet, and inspect and copy forms and related documents at the Division's Central Office at the address listed above or at any of the Environmental Assistance Centers (EAC) (Please call 1-888-891-8332 for the nearest EAC). An electronic copy of this information may be requested by email at [email protected]

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

4) NEWS: EPA Issues New Rule on CAFO's
On December 16, 2002 EPA announced a new rule on concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFO) and controlling factory farm pollution. EPA was forced to finalize the new rule by December 15, 2002, under a 1992 judicial consent decree between National Resource Defense Council (NRDC) and EPA.

According to a December 16, 2002 press release by the NRDC and Sierra Club, this new rule perpetuates a system where corporate agribusiness can reap huge profits from factory farming and avoid responsibility for the pollution they generate. They said that EPA's new rule does not meet the basic requirements of keeping animal waste out of rivers and lakes; holding corporate owners responsible for spills; and guaranteeing public participation.

For the full press release by NRDC and Sierra Club, go to:
http://www.nrdc.org/media/pressreleases/021216.asp.

For the full version of the EPA Final Rule go to:
http://cfpub.epa.gov/npdes/afo/cafofinalrule.cfm.

5) PUBLIC HEARING: TN Water Resources Information Act
TDEC has announced a hearing before the Division of Water Supply Staff representing the Water Quality Control Board of the TN Department of Environment and Conservation to hear comments from the public concerning proposed rules under the Tennessee Water Resources Information Act pursuant to T.C.A. Sections 69-8-301 et seq. TDEC drafted the proposed rules primarily to incorporate into state regulation requirements for the registration of water withdrawals. This proposal includes the requirement for registering the withdrawal, the manner of calculation of the volume withdrawn, and the reporting requirements.

The hearing will be conducted in the manner prescribed by the Uniform Administrative Procedures Act, Tennessee Code Annotated Section 4-5-204. The hearing will take place at the L&C Tower, 401 Church Street, 17th Floor Conference Room - Side A, Nashville, TN at 10:00 AM CST, February 18, 2003.

Written comments will be considered if received at the Division of Water Supply, 401 Church Street, Nashville, TN 37243-1549 by the close of business February 28, 2003.

Source: www.state.tn.us/environment/dws/index

6) NEWS: CWA Wetlands Authority Upheld
On Dec. 16 the U.S. Supreme Court issued a 4-4 decision in Borden Ranch Partnership v. US Army Corps of Engineers, which arose under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act (CWA) and an activity known as "deep ripping." Deep ripping is a process in which bulldozers drag rippers, consisting of four-foot to seven-foot metal prongs, through the earth to break up a restrictive clay layer and disgorge earth, rock, sand, and biological material behind the ripper. Because the Court was equally divided, the judgment of the lower court, which had ruled in favor of the Government, was affirmed. The case presented to the Supreme Court included three key legal issues related to (1) whether deep ripping involves the "addition" of "pollutants" from a "point source;" (2) if so, whether it was exempt from permit requirements under CWA Section 404(f); and (3) the methodology used to calculate the penalty amount.

The case arose from an enforcement action involving the use of deep ripping to convert ranch land to vineyards and orchards without a Section 404 permit. The petitioner was warned a number of times that this activity required a permit but continued nonetheless. When, as here, deep ripping equipment passes through a wetland, it moves soil from adjoining uplands into the wetland and also brings up substrate into the wetland. It has the effect of draining and filling the wetland. The Government alleged this activity resulted in a discharge of dredged and/or fill material into various swales (a type of wetland) which were adjacent to waters of U.S. The district court had ruled that the government had authority under the CWA to regulate such deep ripping, and the court of appeals had affirmed (261 F.3d 810 (9th Cir., 2001)). As is the practice when the Supreme Court is equally divided, their opinion merely indicates the judgment of the court below is affirmed, and does not address or discuss the substance of the issues presented, nor does it serve as legal precedent.

Source: EPA Watershed News



7) NEWS: EPA Proposes to Withdraw 2000 TMDL Rule
On December 20, EPA announced that it is proposing to withdraw the July 2000 final rule which revised EPA's Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) program under the Clean Water Act. The 2000 rule was determined to be unworkable based on reasons described by thousands of comments and was challenged in court by some two-dozen parties.
Ultimately, Congress passed a law prohibiting EPA from implementing the July 2000 rule. Further, the National Academy of Sciences' National Research Council (NRC) issued a report with numerous recommendations for improving the rule and program, which were not reflected in the July 2000 rule.

For more information, visit http://www.epa.gov/owow/tmdl/proposedrule.html.

Source: EPA Watershed News

8) RESOURCE: How Water Quality Standards Protect Tribal Waters
(EPA 823-B-02-002) is a new EPA publication designed to help tribes develop their own water quality standards program. The document provides an introduction to water quality standards, discusses the benefits of a standards program on reservation lands, and answers some frequently asked questions about the process to obtain EPA authorization to conduct the program. Water quality standards are laws or regulations that Indian tribes (authorized to administer the program) adopt to enhance the quality of their waters and protect human health, and are the cornerstone of the nation's surface water protection program under the Clean Water Act (CWA).

Two case studies are included in the publication. The first features the Fort Montana's Assiniboine and Sioux Tribes' efforts to use biological criteria in their water quality standards. The second case study focuses on the Seminole Tribe of Florida and the use of water quality standards to solve a severe nutrient problem on the Big Cypress Reservation. To obtain copies, contact Eleanor Jackson at 202-566-0052 or [email protected]

Source: EPA Watershed News


9) RESOURCE: Database on State Water Quality Standards and Designated Uses
EPA is developing an on-line National Water Quality Standards Database (WQSDB) to improve public access to information about how waters are being protected and to empower the public to better understand how actions in their watershed can help or harm those waters. The first phase will allow users to access information on "designated uses."
These uses, which are set by the state, describe the functions that each waterbody is intended to support water or other use. The second phase of the WQSDB will add numeric "water quality criteria," representing the quality of water that supports particular uses.

When completed, the WQSDB will allow access to maps and tables for all surface water bodies across the nation. You can visit the database at: www.epa.gov/wqsdatabase or download fact sheets at http://www.epa.gov/wqsdatabase/demo/docs/wqsdatabase.pdf and http://www.epa.gov/wqsdatabase/demo/docs/wqsrep.pdf.

Source: EPA Watershed News

10) RESOURCE: Storm Water Strategies CD-ROM Available
To help communities implement better storm water controls, the Natural
Resources Defense Council (NRDC) recently released a CD-ROM version of its 1999 report, Storm Water Strategies: Community Responses to Run-off Pollution. The new CD-ROM is very user-friendly and includes updated case studies on storm water management issues (including new information on Low Impact Development), and web site links to storm water leaders across the country. For more information, visit the Natural Resources Defense Council web site at www.nrdc.org/publications, or call 212-727-2700.

Source: EPA Watershed News

11) RESOURCE: New Watershed Project Management Guide
The recently released Watershed Project Management Guide by Thomas E.
Davenport presents a four-phase approach to watershed management based on a collaborative process that responds to common needs and goals. The recommended process consists of a series of four basic phases: Assessment, Planning, Implementation, and Evaluation. The four-phase approach helps watershed practitioners develop a plan consistent with the recently released USDA-EPA Watershed Management Planning and Implementation Process guidance. The process can be used to implement a management strategy to meet load allocations required by an approved TMDL, goals of a source water protection plan, USDA programs (i.e. Environmental Quality Incentive Program), or CWA Section 319 projects. To order, visit the website www.crcpress.com or call 800-272-7737.

Source: EPA Watershed News

12) RESOURCE: National Wetlands Mitigation Action Plan
On Dec. 27, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and EPA, in conjunction with the Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Interior, and Transportation, released the National Wetlands Mitigation Action Plan. EPA states that the action plan's 17 items will ensure effective, scientifically based decisions about protecting and restoring wetlands and also expand access to information on these activities. Wetlands (e.g., marshes, bogs, and similar areas) are invaluable for ecosystem health, filtering drinking water supplies, retaining floodwaters, and supporting many types of wildlife. For a copy of the plan, visit http://www.epa.gov/owow/wetlands/guidance/index.html#mitigation.

Source: EPA Watershed News



13) PUBLIC NOTICE: Braden Mountain EA Available for Review
TVA proposes to enter into a lease agreement for the mining of coal in the Braden Mountain area of TVA's Koppers Coal Reserve in Campbell and Scott Counties, Tennessee. TVA and other state and federal agencies previously approved the mine in 1999. Because of changes in coal-market conditions shortly after the mine was approved, no mining has actually taken place there. However, recent developments in the coal market have made the formerly proposed mining operation more economically attractive, and TVA now proposes to enter into a new lease agreement. The mine would have a permitted area of 665 acres, with about 411 acres disturbed by coal removal or fill disposal. The land surface in the area to be mined is within the Royal Blue Wildlife Management Area and is owned by the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency. The closing date for comments is January 20, 2003. Send comments to Charles P. Nicholson, Senior NEPA Specialist, Environmental Policy & Planning, TVA, 400 West Summit Hill Dr. WT 8C, Knoxville, TN 37902-1499 or [email protected] (Attn: Charles P. Nicholson). A copy of the EA may be viewed at www.tva.gov/environment/reports.
Source: SAMAB/SAIN News Briefs

14) PUBLIC NOTICE: US Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District
The following is a list of Public Notices issued by 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 our office at (615) 369-7500 or by mail and we will be happy to forward it to you. Be sure to include the Public Notice Number with your request.

U.S. Army Engineer District, Nashville
Corps of Engineers
Attention: Regulatory Branch
3701 Bell Road
Nashville, Tennessee 37214

02-76 - Expires 2/9/2003, Rex Trent, Proposed Wetland Fill, Reedy Creek, Sullivan County, TN

02-82 - Expires 2/6/2003, City of Dayton, Proposed Fixed Community Dock and Bank Stabilization, Richland Creek, Opposite TRM 504.4R, Chickamauga Lake, in Rhea County, TN

02-83 - Expires 1/18/2003, Town of Dandridge, Proposed Water and Sewer Line Crossings, French Broad River, Mile 45.2, Douglas Lake, in Jefferson County, TN

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

15) PUBLIC NOTICE: Aquatic Resource Alteration Permit (ARAP) Notices
The following is a list of Public Notices from TDEC of permitting decisions, public hearings, and rulemaking 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]

January 9, 2003
NRS 02.324 Loudon County approximately 15,000 linear feet of 8-inch gravity flow sewer. There will be 11 crossings of an unnamed tributary of Hines Creek that parallels Highway 70 Northwest of Eaton Crossroads.

NRS 02.378 Nestlé Waters of North America, Inc. Floodwater retarding structures, Two unnamed tributaries to Long Hungry Creek and one unnamed tributary to Salt Lick Creek near Red Boiling Springs in Macon County

NRS 02.385 TDOT SR 24 Intersection Widening at Maple Avenue and East Broad Street, Wetland Impact, Stream Relocation and Impact, Putnam County (TDOT# 71952-1531-94)

NRS 02.399 TDOT SR 171 (Mt. Juliet Road) Widening, Wetland Impacts and Stream Impact, Wilson County (TDOT# 95063-1217-04)

NRS 02.434 TDOT State Route 125 Bridge & Approaches over Porters Creek Overflow @t LM 7.32 and Dry Branch @LM 7.95 Hardeman County, Wetland Impact (TDOT# 35009-1227-94)

NRS 02.450 TDOT Lake Hardeman Road (Route 0866) Bridge and Approaches over Spring Creek Overflow, Wetland Impact, Hardeman County (TDOT#35018-1409-94)

NRS #02-460 West Wilson Utility District; relocate 350 feet of existing waterline through jurisdictional wetland, Isolated wetlands adjacent to the east side of Mt. Juliet Road Mt. Juliet, Wilson County

NRS 02.311 David Fiser; 0.22-acre of wetland fill and two road crossings for a total of 95 feet of encapsulation, unnamed tributary to Ten Mile Creek, Knox County


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