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Archive for May, 2009

The legislature is slowwwwly winding down

Wednesday, May 27th, 2009

Well, we had a rough start to the legislative session, but it is ending much better than anticipated.  A couple of months ago we were facing 14 bills with serious potential to negatively impact our waters. Now, there are three.  These three aren’t good bills, but did start off much worse:

SB0632/HB1615 redefines wet weather conveyances, codifies some current permit requirements, requires the development of a hydrologic determination guidances and allows outside consultants to make stream determinations.  The senate bill has passed and the house bill is scheduled in the Finance Committee this week.  This bill was initially much more destructive.  Some aspects are acceptable, but others are down right dangerous.

SB1331/HB1204 mandates the state adopt a DRAFT selenium standard developed by EPA in 2004.  This is a standard not adopted by EPA itself with serious need for further scientific inquiry.  It is not protective of our water quality and sets a precedence for the legislature to set water quality criteria.  The senate bill passed and the house bill will be on the floor soon.

SB0198 requires General Assembly approval of all department rules and eliminates public necessity and emergency rule making.  This bill really impedes on Executive Branch authority and separation of powers.  It is also dangerous to eliminate our state’s authority and necessity to make emergency rules when new situations arise.  This bill just started moving and is scheduled for committee next week.

The 2009 legislative session should be coming to a close soon.  Remember, though, this is year one of a 2 year session - these dangerous bills are not gone yet!

EPA allows the Army Corps to move foward with 42 mining permits

Friday, May 15th, 2009

Soooo, those permits that were under review have now passed muster with the EPA and the Corps will move forward on them.  Many weeks ago I posted that the administration will make mistakes and we must be vigilant to point them out.

We’re pointing.  This is wrong, bad, immoral - the beautiful mountains and streams In Appalachia will be permenantly destroyed by these permits as well as a way of life.



EPA steps in to oversee Kingston TVA coal fly ash clean up

Monday, May 11th, 2009

Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency signed an enforceable agreement with the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) to oversee the removal of coal ash at the TVA Kingston Fossil Fuel Plant in Roane County, TN, where more than five million cubic yards of coal ash spilled. Under the Administrative Order and Agreement on Consent (order) which was entered into under the Superfund law, EPA will oversee the cleanup and TVA will reimburse EPA for its oversight costs.

So, what happened to TDEC?  They had oversight authority….

To read more, click here

Bad water bills dying the death they deserve!

Tuesday, May 5th, 2009

Three water bills were up in the State House Environment Subcommittee today.

HB 1615 was amended and is in better shape, but we have some serious issues with it.

HB 1616 was amended to go to full committee and where it will go to study committee this summer.

HB 1617 - LIMITED RESOURCES BILL  goes to next year’s calendar.

And one bill in House Judiciary subcommittee on civil procedure.

HB 2154 - Nuisance bill - rolled to summer session.

This is due to your hard work!  All those calls, emails and letters have paid off. We’ve still got work to do, but with your help, we can protect Tennessee’s beautiful rivers and streams!!

Details about these bills 2009 water bills