April 26, 2000


Inside this Issue!


1. TENNESSEE UPDATE - TDEC COPY COSTS - TDEC's Plan to Reduce Copy Costs for Public Records Gives a Small Victory, but Still Not Enough


3. SPOTLIGHT - NWF REPORT ON NONPOINT POLLUTION CLEANUP - Tennessee Gets a  'D' For Cleaning Up its Waterways

4. NEWSFLASH - LAND DONATION IN SCOTT'S GULF - Bridgestone/Firestone Plans to Donate 6,000 Acres of its Land in Scott's Gulf to the State of Tennessee

5. EMAIL DISCUSSION FORUM - GROUNDWATER DIGEST'S WATERFORUM - Free and Open Email Discussion on Water Resources Issues.

6. RESOURCES - STREAM RESTORATION VIDEO - Restoration Techniques for Urban Streams

7. ONLINE RESOURCES - FUNDRAISING - Fundraising How-To's and Secrets of Successful Grant Proposals




1.    TDEC Plans to Reduce Copy Costs for Public Records Still NOT Enough (Refer to article in the NASHVILLE  SCENE, Issue Date: April 20, 2000, By Liz  Murray Garrigan)


The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) has had a long-standing practice of charging an obscene 50 cents a page to citizens who want copies of public records. In fact, Tennessee's pricing practices are among the worst in the nation.  A coalition of at least 18 environmental and consumer protection organizations threatened several months ago to sue, pointing to federal regulations that call for copies to be free or equivalent to commercial copy cost. 


TDEC has responded with a plan to make up to 25 copies free, then charge 25 cents a page after that.  This is a solid victory, yet not enough.  25 cents a page is outrageously high compared to commercial copy costs and therefore in direct defiance of federal regulation.  TDEC officials have scheduled a "rulemaking hearing" for May 18 to formally consider the new costs and take public comments on the issue. 


For more information, contact Danielle Droitsch, Tennessee Clean Water Network, ([email protected])



2.    Dry Fork Creek near Fall Creek Falls State Park Receives High Quality Designation - Spencer Sewage Plant Permit Stopped - For Now after pressure from a coalition of cave and environmental groups and EPA, the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) was forced to re-evaluate Dry Fork Creek near Fall Creek Falls State Park and subsequently change its designation to a "High Quality" or Tier II stream.  This stream, which flows into the park and feeds into a large, newly discovered cave containing rare species, is proposed as the receiving stream for the planned Spencer sewage plant.  The new Tier II designation stops for now the issuance of the permit that was expected this week and means that no degradation is allowed without special approval by the Water Quality Control Board.  TDEC plans to go to the Board on Tuesday, May 23 to ask approval to degrade this High Quality stream and issue the permit.  TDEC is still refusing to comply with regulations and conduct a full environmental impact study or hold a public hearing despite wide spread demands, saying that requests were made too late.  They also continue to claim that the public notice process was done properly (but it wasn't).  Memos from state files found today show that plans for a public hearing last summer were canceled at the request of a local politician.  The May Board hearing will be open to the public and we understand people will be allowed to speak.  With attorneys now working on the case for the coalition of interested groups, we may ask that the hearing be delayed, postponed, or moved so as to accommodate the interested and effected public. 


For more information contact: Barry Sulkin, Tennessee PEER (Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility), phone (615) 313-7066, email [email protected]



3.    National Wildlife Federation Report- Pollution Paralysis II: Code Red for Watersheds - Tennessee Gets a "D" Grade

Our nation's waters are in trouble. NWF evaluated compliance with a provision of the Clean Water Act aimed at protecting watersheds from pollution pesticides, excessive nutrients and other chemicals that come primarily from agriculture and forests as opposed to a specific smokestack or discharge pipe.  States are required to designate waterways impaired by such pollution,  prioritize the severity of the problems and develop a plan to curtail the pollution. Michael Murray, the report's co-author, says most states have done little beyond compiling lists.  In fact, this report finds that three-fourths of the states are failing to use watershed restoration plans or Total Maxium Daily Loads (TMDLs) to address water pollution caused by runoff from farms and forests.  Results are summarized for each state and nationally in NWF's report, and each state is given a letter grade indicating how well they are cleaning up their waterways.  Tennessee was among 19 states who received a 'D' for 'poor'.  No state received an 'A' for 'good'.


To download the full report, go to:



4.    SCOTT'S GULF - Bridgestone/Firestone Conservation Area

On Thursday, April 14th, Tennessee Governor Don Sundquist and Bridgestone/Firestone Inc. announced that Bridgestone/Firestone will donate 6,000 acres of its land in Scott's Gulf to the State of Tennessee, adding to their previously donated 4,000 acres.  This river gorge property, which will be protected as the Bridgestone/Firestone Conservation Area, has scenic bluffs and cliffs, waterfalls, caves, and more than 20 miles of challenging whitewater on Bee Creek and the Caney Fork River.  The Caney Fork River gorge has been called the Grand Canyon of the Cumberlands. 


For more information, contact Chuck Estes, Friends of Scott's Gulf,  [email protected]



5.    Announcing:  ***  WaterForum  ***  A new e-mail discussion forumWaterForum is a free and open forum for discussion of water resources issues; including drinking water, water conservation, drainage, environmental chemistry, wetlands, wastewater, irrigation, recreational use, fisheries and wildlife use, aquaculture, coastal studies and oceanography, environmental and public health issues, contamination/ remediation, computer modeling, climatology, hydropower, and any other relevant water resources topics. 

There are currently over 2000 subscribers; a broad range of members from academia, industry, government, and the general public, as well as wide-ranging geographic diversity.  The list is moderated by Ken Bannister, founder of Groundwater-Digest, currently the world's largest groundwater discussion forum.


To join, simply send a blank e-mail to    [email protected] or visit the website, www.egroups.com/group/waterforum


6.    Resources - Urban Stream Restoration: A Video Tour of Ecological Restoration Techniques with Ann Riley: This information-packed video tour of six urban stream restoration sites is led by Ann Riley, a nationally known hydrologist, stream restoration professional, and executive director of the Waterways Restoration Institute in Berkley, California.  The video provides

background information on how the projects were funded and organized with community involvement,  and the history and principles of restoration.  It includes examples of stream restoration in very urbanized areas,  recreating stream shapes and meanders, creek daylighting, soil bioengineering, and ecological flood control projects.This tape is intended for anyone interested in ecological urban stream and neighborhood restoration, (i.e., for engineers, landscape architects, biologists, water managers, community groups, and decision makers).


To Order Urban Stream Restoration Video, go to www.urbanstreamrestoration.com  For more information, contact Marty Roberts, [email protected]



7.    Fundraising Resources (from Pat Byington - BEN, [email protected])   Tony Poderis's Handouts For Fundraising Meetings:  These 1 to 2 page fundraising "How to" fact sheets address issues ranging from planning for fundraising, funding sources, methods for solicitation, prospective donors, rating prospects, and gift acknowledgments.  They provide the tools to educate staff, board members and volunteers about important elements in fundraising.  www.raise-funds.com/exhibitlist.html


Inner Secrets of Successful Proposals: Advice on Grant Writing:  This article provides organizations with some of the secret ingredients needed to write a successful grant proposal.  Some of the advice is obvious, but some may provide a few new approaches.