(865) 522-7007CONTACT


Archive for April, 2008

Legislative Update 4/16/08

Thursday, April 17th, 2008

This week was pretty exciting at the Senate and House Environment Committees

In the Senate:

The Scenic Vista’s Act was revisited in the Senate.  Last week the Senate Committee Chair deferred to the House Subcommittee’s decision not to pass it out of the House Committee. This week the Senate sponsor and Sen. Jackson, rallied the other senators and the bill passed out of the Senate Committee.

The Limited Resources bill was completely rewritten to delete all the language and substitute in its place language that would require a clean up of the Nolichucky River.  Apparently many years ago, in the dark of night, several tons of tires were dumped into the river and are still there today.  This bill would clean it up. It passed out of Senate with the amendment unanimously.

In the House, Rep. McCord suggested the same amendment for the Limited Resources bill. It was accepted and it passed out of the House Environment Committee unanimously.

WE WON!  This bill is dead.  Though our bills died, their impact would have been greatly reduced had the limited resources bill passed.  We heard from Senator Raymond Finney that there were three bills he heard about the most and this bill was one of them.  Many thanks to all of you who called your representatives and senators to encourage them to not vote for this bill.

This fight is not over.  We have won the battle, but not the war.  We have heard that next year they are planning another round. TCWN will be there and vigilant to protect our right to clean water!

We got some excellent press from the Maryville Daily Times.

This piece leads us to believe that the fight may carry over to the making of rules and regulations.  We have a constant presence at the Water Quality Control Board and we will be watching the opposition’s every move.

If this issue is important to you, consider becoming a member and helping us win this war to protect clean water in Tennessee.  Click here to become a member today!

Many thanks to you all!


Watauga Watershed Alliance

Tuesday, April 15th, 2008

Tues night I had the great pleasure to visit the Watauga River Watershed Alliance and talk to them about what we do and how we can work together. While there I visited the Radford Quarry that this group has recently filed a 60-day Notice of Intent to Sue for polluting Doe Creek - a lovely trout fishery.

I then went to the Watauga Chapter of the Sierra Club’s meeting. My goodness, the spread! The food was fabulous and the company highly entertaining.

Carl is the stream clean up man and he had an interesting story to tell: While doing a stream cleanup, he found two plastic bags stuffed under rocks. When he pulled them out and looked inside, he discovered the bodies of two pit bulls. Perhaps the losers of a dog fight? A little while later he found another bag with drug paraphernalia in it. He called the Sheriff’s Office and they came out and conducted an investigation. If you find drug items or other items that look suspicious during a clean up, do not hesitate to call the authorities. Please be careful when handling trash during clean ups.

TCWN’s newest member!

Tuesday, April 15th, 2008

We were treated to a visit by Jennifer Gerbasi who was our Director of Policy and Legislative Affairs for almost two years. She left us for Houma Louisiana and motherhood. We also got to meet Sophia, Jennifer’s daughter. Awwww…… she’s so sweet!

Legislative Update 4/10/08

Thursday, April 10th, 2008

Here’s an update of the bills that we are watching:

Stop Work Order. This bill is dead for lack of a second in the House SubCommittee on Environment.

Limited Resources bill: There were some negotiations that took place on the Senate side. Sen. Southerland introduced an amendment to this bill that wipes out the definition of water and replaces it with a clean up of the Nolichucky thereby making the attempt to change the definition dead for this year. The opposition’s lobbyist stopped me in the hall before committee and told me that they are finished with this bill. We aren’t declaring victory yet, but we think it will be very soon.

Pigeon River: This bill changes the location of water testing for pollution coming into Tennessee from the Evergreen Paper Mill (formerly Blue Ridge, formerly Champion). Amendments for this bill more fully indicate how TDEC will take those samples. This bill passed and is being signed by both Senate and House Speakers. Yay!

We’ll keep you posted!

Wilma Dykeman Prize for Tennessee Nature Writing

Tuesday, April 8th, 2008

Hey Everyone,

The Tennessee Clean Water Network sponsors an annual essay contest with prizes for essays about Tennessee water. The prizes are awarded in honor of the late Wilma Dykeman, the 2007 recipient of the Bill Russell River Hero Award. Wilma Dykeman’s legacy includes being the writer of 16 books, including The French Broad, being named Tennessee Conservation Writer of the Year, holding the honorary title of Tennessee State Historian, and leaving a love of nature and environmental stewardship and education for future generations.

So sharpen your pencils and submit your finest writing. For more information and contest rules, go to http://www.tcwn.org/events/essaycontest.php