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Archive for September, 2009

TDEC responds to TCWN’s Rarity complaint…

Sunday, September 27th, 2009

We received a response from TDEC addressing the complaint (and attached photo documentation) we sent about violations at the Rarity Ridge site in Oak Ridge.  Click here to read the response.  We appreciate TDEC’s quick follow up and inspection at the site.  We also appreciate their enforcement against the upstream contributor to sediment in Roberts Branch.  However, we think more action should have been taken to clear the streets and storm drains of months and months of collected sediment.  This site operator has been informed on more than 4 occasions about violations at the development.  Hopefully this site has taken the necessary steps to prevent dirt from entering our waters.  To make sure, we’ll get back out there soon and let you know what we find!

Water quality is major news!

Monday, September 21st, 2009


The NY Times has been running a special series entitled “Toxic Waters” covering pollution concerns across our nation and how our government addresses them.  The Times has published three stories in a 5-part series and have released some enlightening and frightening information.  These are a great read.  Check it out here.

Nuisance Bill to be discussed in congressional hearing

Thursday, September 10th, 2009

House Bill 2154 sponsored by Representative Joe McCord (R-Maryville) and its companion bill Senate Bill 2154 sponsored by Senator Lowe Finney (D-Jackson) are referred to as the Nuisance Bills.  This legislation was one of the most destructive bills to emerge during this year’s legislative session.  It makes it so those actions conducted under a state permit which impact your property, yourself, or your livelihood in a negative manner are no longer “nuisances” as defined by law.  It strips away anyone’s right to be compensated from the negative consequences of a nuisance if the activity causing the nuisance was conducted under a state permit.  This bill is an especially dangerous threat to our private property rights and protection from pollution. 

 Permit or no permit, no one has a right to create problems to other people’s properties and we have right to recover damages if someone else negatively impacts our property.

 The hearing is September 21.  If you are interested in attending and/or testifying feel free to contact Ms. Barnes, the administrative assistant to Judiciary Chairman Coleman, at [email protected].  You can also contact your congressional representatives and let them know you want your property and self to remain protected from nuisances.


Southeastern members of MS River Collaborative meet with EPA

Tuesday, September 1st, 2009

Last week TCWN, along with our Southeastern partner states in the MS River Collaborative (KY and MS) met with Region 4 EPA in Atlanta to talk about a variety of water quality issues facing our region and individual states.  Topics included nutrient criteria, anti-degradation procedures, public involvement, toxic pollutant limits, permits, and some other random items.  I must say, I’ve been to quite a few of these meetings and they typically result in little.  However, this meeting seemed slightly better.  EPA staff appeared more receptive to our questions and concerns and a list of “action items” was developed.  Next steps are always questionable, but let’s keep our fingers crossed some headway has been made into some of the most pressing water quality issues facing our states!