June 12, 2000

 

Inside this Issue!

 

1.  ACTION ALERT - AQUATIC RESOURCE ALTERATION PERMITS - Proposed Regulations Fail to Protect Tennessee's Streams and Wetlands

2.  NEWSFLASH - WATER QUALITY STANDARDS - EPA Revises Approval Rules for

Water Quality Standards

4.  LEGISLATIVE UPDATE - CLEAN WATER ACT - New Bill to Modify Clean Water Act to Address Fish Habitat

4.  SPOTLIGHT - EPA PUBLICATION - Atlas of America's Polluted Waters

5.  SPOTLIGHT - EPA REPORT - Economy Depends of Clean Water

6.  RESOURCE - WATER MONITORING MATERIALS - Izaak Walton League's Save Our

Streams Program Releases its 2000 Catalogue

7.  FYI - POLL RESULTS - Americans Support Environmental Movements

 

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1.  UNDER ASSAULT: Tennessee's Streams and Wetlands

The Tennessee Water Quality Control Board will be considering proposed regulations in early JULY governing the protection of state streams and wetlands.  Weakened by the road-building industry, these laws will actually allow more pollution to the waters of the state if it is determined the water is not important or provides a specific public benefit.  In other words, if the water is already polluted, or does not have some specific purpose, pollution will be permitted.  Any community living near polluted water therefore will become a target for more development, sprawl, and pollution. 

 

Tennessee has over 14,000 miles of rivers and streams already impacted by pollution.  The state has a duty under the Water Quality Control Act to avoid future pollution in EVERY stream and wetlands.  IN SHORT, every permit applicant who proposes altering or destroying a stream or wetland should be placed under a specific duty to demonstrate that there is no practicable alternative.

 

The proposed regulations are dangerously weak, BUT we CAN turn them around!! 

Here's What You Can Do:

 

Call or write Members of the Water Quality Control Board. Here's what you might say:

    I am calling about the Aquatic Resource Alteration Permit regulations being considered by the Tennessee Division of Water Pollution Control.  These regulations are extremely important to me because they address issues of sprawl and impacts to our state streams and wetlands.  I would therefore like the final regulations approved by the Water Quality Control Board to be as strong as possible.  Specifically,    *I would like to be assured that every applicant be required to demonstrate they cannot avoid negatively impacting the stream and wetland    *IF the applicant cannot avoid impacting the stream, I would like TDEC to require permit applicants to evaluate alternatives that minimize impacts to the stream or wetland.

    *  The two points above should apply to every stream and wetland in Tennessee - no matter where they are located.

 

[For a copy of this notice of rulemaking hearing or of the draft general permits, contact Dan Eagar, Natural Resources Section, Division of Water Pollution Control, 7th floor, L&C Annex, 401 Church Street, Nashville, Tennessee 37243-1534, Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, 615/532-0708.]

 

[For more information, contact Danielle Droitsch at [email protected]]

 

MEMBERS OF THE WATER QUALITY CONTROL BOARD

 

Ms. Leslie Cain

Cain Autoplex

Hwy. 96 & I-65 South

Franklin, TN 37068-0789

[email protected]  

615-794-2572

 

Department of Health, Tennessee

Mr. Robert Worthington     

Laboratory Services                

7th Fl., Ben Allen Road                

Nashville, TN 37247-0801           

[email protected]

615-262-6302               

 

Dr. James Cunningham

University of TN - Chattanooga

615 McCallie Avenue

Chattanooga, TN 37403

[email protected]

423-755-4361

 

Mr. Michael Countess

Assistant Commissioner

Department of Agriculture

Ellington Agricultural Center

Nashville, TN 37204

615-837-5311

 

Mr. Eddie Floyd

3165 Foster chapel Road

Columbia, TN 38401

[email protected]

931-388-6752

 

Ms. Geneil Hailey Dillehay, P.E.

88 Difficult Rd.

Carthage, TN 37030

[email protected]

615-774-3633

 

Mr. John Charles Wilson

560 Orr Road

Arlington, TN 38002-4324

(901) 867-7468

 

Dr. Don Byerly

University of Tennessee

Department of Geological Science

Knoxville, TN 37996-1410

[email protected]

865-974-6007

 

Mr. Frank Brogden

3716 Arrowhead Trial

Kingsport, TN 37664

[email protected]

423-246-9197 (area code could be 865)

 

Mr. John Leonard

Bureau of Environment

21st Floor L&C Tower

Nashville, TN 37243

615-532-0225

 

 

2.    EPA Revises Approval Rules for Water Quality Standards

EPA has revised its regulation that specifies when new and revised State and Tribal water quality standards become effective for Clean Water Act purposes. Under EPA*s regulation, such new and revised standards, if submitted to EPA after the effective date of the final rule, will not be used for Clean Water Act purposes until approved by EPA. The final rule also provides that standards already in effect and submitted to EPA by the effective date of the new rule may be used for Clean Water Act purposes, whether or not approved by EPA. The regulation became effective May 30, 2000.

 

For more information, visit www.epa.gov/ost/standards/alaska/

 

3.  New Bill to Modify Clean Water Act to Address Fish Habitat

Sen. Kit Bond (R-MO) and Rep. John Tanner (D-TN) recently introduced the Fishable Waters Act of 2000.  The bill was developed by the Fishable Waters Coalition, an alliance of farmers, anglers, state resource agencies and conservation groups, out of a common concern that the Clean Water Act must be enhanced to solve America*s fisheries needs.

 

Currently, 38% of the national*s freshwater ecosystems are not fishable or swim-able, and less than 2 percent of the 3.6 million stream miles are healthy enough to be considered high quality.

 

The Fishable Waters Act emphasizes a "bottom-up approach" to allocating financial and technical resources to manage watersheds at a local level. Rather than increasing regulations, the bill would establish a new program within the Clean Water Act that would allow states to use funds in their Fisheries Habitat Account to finance approved conservation projects, thereby expanding the spending authority of states and allowing them to provide support directly to landowners and watershed councils.

 

To find out more about the Fishable Waters Act contact Steve Moyer, Trout Unlimited at 703-522-0200 or [email protected]

 

 

4.  Atlas of America's Polluted Waters

EPA has recently published the Atlas of America's Polluted Waters, EPA 840-B-00-002, which include maps showing waters within each state that do not meet state water quality standards.  States listed these waters in their most recent submission to EPA, generally, in 1998, as required by section 303(d) of the Clean Water Act.  This provision of the Clean Water Act requires a "total maximum daily load" or TMDL for each listed water. 

 

Over 20,000 water bodies across the country are identified as not meeting water quality standards.  These water bodies include more than 300,000 miles of rivers and streams and more than 5 million lake acres.  The overwhelming majority of Americans -- 218 million -- live within 10 miles of a polluted water body.

 

A key feature of the 1998 lists of polluted waters is that, for the first time, all states provided computer-based "geo-referencing" data that allow consistent mapping of these polluted waters.  In order to better illustrate the extent and seriousness of water pollution problems around the country, EPA prepared this Atlas of state maps that identify the polluted waters in each state.  The maps are color coded to indicate then type of pollutant causing the pollution problem.  And, bar charts show the types of pollutants impairing stream/river/coastal miles, and lakes/estuary/wetland acres.

 

Copies of the document are available at no charge from the National Service Center for Environmental Publications (NSCEP) in Cincinnati at: Phone: (513) 489-8190; Fax: (513) 489-8695.   A copy of the Atlas has also been posted on the TMDL web site for browsing and downloading at:  http://www.epa.gov/owow/tmdl/atlas/index.html

 

 

  1. EPA Releases Liquid Assets 2000: Water Resources at a Turning Point

EPA has released a new report showing how the economy depends on clean water. At the same time the report warns that to provide the powerful boost clean water gives the economy, the U.S. faces significant challenges cleaning up the nation's remaining polluted waterways.  Liquid Assets 2000: America's Water Resources at a Turning Point provides a snapshot of the problems we face in the new millennium, and the actions we must take to protect and restore the Nation's water resources.  The report also explains the role of a strengthened TMDL program to help clean up the Nation's waters. 

 

For a copy of the report, visit http://www.epa.gov/ow/liquidassets

 

 

  1. Water Monitoring Materials from "Save Our Streams"

The Izaak Walton League of America*s Save Our Streams Program has just come out with its 2000 Program Catalogue.  Their new catalogue includes stream monitoring and conservation workshops as well as many helpful monitoring items such as how to become a watershed steward, monitor*s guides to aquatic critters, teachers* guides to saving streams, as well as videos and equipment for volunteer monitoring. 

 

For more on these products, go to www.iwla.org or call 1-800-BUG-IWLA

 

 

7.  Poll Indicates Americans Support Environmental Movements

A recent Gallup poll found that 83% of Americans continue to support the goals of the environmental movement that began thirty years ago with the first Earth Day.  Sixteen percent of those polled consider themselves active in the environmental movement, while 55% say they are "sympathetic but not active." In addition, more than three-quarters stated that among institutions, they place the most trust in national and local environmental groups to protect the environment.  (Source: Ami Grace, [email protected]igc.org)

 

 

 

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Tennessee Clean Water Network 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 for your participation!