April 17, 2000


Welcome to the first edition of the Tennessee Clean Water Network's E-News!  This newsletter is intended to provide a quick look at current clean water  issues in Tennessee, in addition to resources available to the concerned citizen.


Visit our website (www.tcwn.org) to find more detailed information and take advantage of our "message board" to post your questions, comments, or concerns for all to review and respond.


Comments and submissions for the newsletter are welcome.  Send to [email protected]   or to   [email protected]  Thanks and Read On!



Inside this Issue!


1. URGENT ALERT - BIG SOUTH FORK - Pro-Development Pressures Exerted on NPS Planning Documents

2. SPOTLIGHT - STATUS OF OUR RIVERS - Tennessee's Mississippi River Highlighted in American Rivers' Release of the 15th Annual Most Endangered Rivers Report

3. PUBLIC HEARING NOTICES - CONCENTRATED ANIMAL FEEDING OPERATIONS (CAFOs) IN  TENNESSEE- Public Hearings on CAFO Permits May 4 in Henry County, May 9 in Weakley County, and May 11 in Gibson County

4. IN THE NEWS - DEFENDERS OF WILDLIFE REPORT - Farm Bureau Hurts Those it Claims to Help

5. LEGISLATIVE UPDATES - TENNESSEE CONSERVATION VOTERS - Inter-Basin Water Transfer Act/Fund-shifting Bill (from Wetlands Acquisition Fund to Park Maintenance Fund)

6. SPOTLIGHT - PERMITTING DISASTER - Sierra Reports Floodplain Sprawl and Wetland Destruction Causing Flood Deaths and Damage Across the Country

7. SPOTLIGHT - CORPS OF ENGINEERS - Wasteful Water Projects




April 17, 2000

1.      BIG SOUTH FORK: (Contact: Lee Russell, [email protected])  Major decisions to be made by the National Park Service (NPS) very soon will determine the future of the BSFNRRA.  NPS has two planning documents in the works:  (1) a General Management Plan (GMP), (already in draft form), and (2) a Roads & Trails Management Plan (RTMP) for which NPS is eliciting ideas (nothing in writing yet).  Huge pro-development pressures are being exerted by some politicians and certain user groups on NPS.  To help preserve unspoiled the natural resources of the Area, here's what you can do:


#1 For the GMP, send written comments, due by May 15 to the address below, and

#2 To comment (oraly and/or in writing) on both the GMP and RTMP, attend meetings ("Open Houses") to be held between 4/17 and 4/20, (specifics below).


>>  Where to send comments:

Big South Fork NRRA - GMP Planning Team

Southeast Regional Office

National Park Service

1924 Building

100 Alabama St, SW, Suite 6R10

Atlanta, GA  30303-9725e-mail: [email protected]


>>  Location of Roads & Trails "Open Houses" (for details, call 423-569-9778)

Fentress County - Garrett's Store, 4/17/00

Scott County - Winfield City Hall, 4/18/00

Anderson County - Oak Ridge Civic Center, 4/20/00

Fentress County - Jamestown, York Institute, 4/24/00

Scott County - Huntsville City, County Bldg, 4/25/00

McCreary County - Stearns Railway Depot, 4/27/00



April 17, 2000

2.      On April 10, American Rivers released the 15th annual Most Endangered Rivers Report, which spotlights the diminishing numbers and potential extinction of scores of freshwater fish and other species native to North America's rivers. Partially because of the impacts of dams, levees, and structural stabilization of riverbanks, freshwater species are vanishing as fast as tropical rainforest species.  The Mississippi River appears at number eight on the report.


To access the full Most Endangered Rivers Report of 2000, press releases, and additional information and contacts for each river, visit



To take action to protect and restore rivers, check out American Rivers*™ Action Network at www.actionnetwork.org/home.tcl?domain=AMRIVERS      This site allows you to send emails to your members of Congress, members of the Administration, agency officials, and others with the click of a button.


America's Most Endangered Rivers of 2000

1) Lower Snake River (WA)

2) Missouri River (MT, ND, SD, NE, IA, KS, MO)

3) Ventura River (CA)

4) Copper River (AK)

5) Tri-State River Basins (GA, AL, FL)

6) Coal River (WV)

7) Rio Grande (CO, NM, TX, and Chihuahua and Coahuila, Mexico)

8) Mississippi & White Rivers (MN, WI, IL, IA, MO, KY, TN, AR, MS, LA)


April 17, 2000

3.      NOTICE OF HEARINGS - Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs):

The Division of Water Pollution Control will hold public hearings on the issuance of National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits for the operation of a waste retention structure at a CAFO to the following applicants on May 4, May 9, and May 11 at the following times and locations: 

Tosh Farms (TN0074888) in Henry, TN; Yoder Finishers (TN0074896) in Paris, TN;

Nelson Creek Farms (TN0074926) in Paris, TN;

Perry Finishers (TN0074951) in Cottage Grove, TN;

Hidden Acres LLC (TN0074918) in Cottage Grove, TN.

Place:  Henry County Courthouse

Large Courtroom

101 West Washington

Paris, TN 38242

Date: Thursday, May 4, 2000

Time: 7:00 p.m. CDT


Turbeville Finishers (TN0074900) and R.D. Robinson Farm (TN0074942), both in Dresden, TN.

Place: Weakley County Circuit Court Courtroom

Court Square

Dresden, TN 38225

Date: Thursday, May 9, 2000

Time: 7:00 p.m. CDT


RB Finishing (TN0074934) in Bradford, TN.

Place: Gibson County Circuit Court Courtroom

295 North College

Trenton, TN 38382

Date: Thursday, May 11, 2000

Time: 7:00 p.m. CDT


Written testimony will be accepted at the hearings and for ten days following the hearings, and will be considered part of the hearing record.  You can obtain additional information, a copy of the draft permit, the fact sheet, and inspect and copy forms and related documents at the Divisionâ*™s Central Office at any of the Environmental Assistance Centers (EAC) (Please call 1-888-891-8332 for the nearest EAC).  For more information, visit the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation website wwww.state.tn.us/environment/wpc/wpcppo/index.html



April 17, 2000

4.      Defenders of Wildlife Report: Farm Bureau Hurts Those it Claims to Help

Contact: Ken Goldman of Defenders of Wildlife, 202-682-9400, ext. 237; Web

site: http://www.defenders.org

WASHINGTON, April 10 /U.S. Newswire/ -- On the heels of an investigative report on the American Farm Bureau Federation that was broadcast April 9 on the CBS News "60 Minutes" program, Defenders of Wildlife has released an in-depth white paper stating that the Farm Bureau is promoting an agenda that does more to hurt than help the family farmers it claims to represent. The white paper, Amber Waves of Gain, which documents abuses by the Farm Bureau, is being sent to every member of Congress. The report concludes that the Farm Bureau, a powerful lobby that allegedly represents the interests of family farmers is, in reality, a wide-ranging business conglomerate with its own political agenda.  The report states that the Farm Bureau has aggressively opposed a wide range of environmental initiatives, including the Endangered Species Act; the clean water, clean air and safe drinking water acts; wetlands laws; pesticide regulations and efforts to curb global warming.


Copies of the white paper, Amber Waves of Gain, are available to credentialed media by calling Ken Goldman at 202-682-9400, ext. 237. PDF downloadable versions of the report are available online at http://www.defenders.org.


 April 17, 2000  

5.      LEGISLATIVE UPDATES for March 27-31, 2000

Contact: Kay Linder (Tennessee Conservation Voters), [email protected]


HB3002 McAfee/SB3074 Ramsey - The Inter-basin Water Transfer Act passed to the full House Environment Committee.  This bill gives the State the authority to regulate how much water is transferred from Tennessee's basins and rivers.  Legislators still have questions and concerns so the bill has been deferred several times, after much discussion.


HB825Rinks/SB402 Cooper - This bill shifts money from the Wetland Acquisition Fund to a State Park Maintenance Fund.  After MUCH discussion and concern about wetlands expressed by almost every committee member, the bill passed from the Environment Committee to Finance, Ways, & Means.  In the end, only Rep. Odom and Rep. Kernell voted against passage to the Finance Committee. 


HB2893Rinks/SB3270 - This bill adds Benton, Decatur and Hardin Counties to the West TN River Basin Authority and moves the Authority under the auspices of TWRA.  Rep. Rinks is moving this bill with his wetlands bill as part of a package to shift funds to save parks.  This bill passed from House Environment to House Finance, Ways, and Means.


  April 17, 2000

6.      FLOODPLAIN SPRAWL and WETLAND DESTRUCTION Causing More Flood Deaths and Damage Across the Country According to a Report Released by the Sierra Club, March 20.  "Permitting Disaster in America: How Reforming "Rubber Stamp" Wetland Destruction Permits Will Protect Your Family from More Flood Risks" shows that the Army Corps of Engineers gave developers 99% of the wetland destruction permits requested between 1988-1996 in America, even in high flood states.  Developers get virtually all of those wetland destruction permits, even in Presidentially Declared Flood Disaster counties, according to Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) data. 


For copies of Permitting Disaster, send $10 to the Sierra Club at 214 N. Henry St., Suite 203, Madison, WI 53703 or call 608-257-4994.


  April 17, 2000

7.         TROUBLED WATERS: Congress, the Corps of Engineers, and Wasteful Water Projects:

The Taxpayers for Common Sense and the National Wildlife Federation's report released on March 2, 2000, lists the 25 most wasteful water projects.  According to the repost, no other Federal agency has had, and continues to have, such a profound impact on the nation's  environmentally-sensitive floodplains, waterways, and coastal areas as the Corps.  Since its inception in 1979, billions of taxpayer dollars are often  wasted on environmentally harmful, ineffective Corps projects.  Here are the top 3 in the report:


(1) The $275 million Grand Prairie Demonstration Project is the first of five Eastern Arkansas irrigation projects that together would cost over $1 billion and would jeopardize the White River National Wildlife Refuge. 


(2) The $311 million Delaware River Deepening Project (Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey) would deepen 108 miles of the Delaware River up to the Port of Philadelphia.


(3)  Driven by large agribusiness corporations, the Corps is likely to recomend a $1.2 billion project to expand the Upper Mississippi River System Locks (Missouri, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota). 


Taxpayers and NWF are starting a Corps Watch Network to monitor such activities.  For more information visit Taxpayer's web site www.taxpayer.net  or NWF's web site at www.nwf.org .  To sign up for the Network for a copy of the report or to learn more, contact Jeff Stein with Taxpayers for Common Sense at 202-546-8500 or [email protected]