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Fish Kill in Bradley County

May 31st, 2011 by Dana Wright

A significant fish kill occurred in Bradley County in Candies Creek as it joins the Hiwassee.  TDEC and TWRA are investigating, but the only possible cause publicized thus far is agriculture.  Read the story here.


EPA wants to hear from you!

March 8th, 2011 by Renée Hoyos

Dear Stakeholder,

President Obama recently issued Executive Order 13563, requiring each agency to develop a plan to periodically conduct a retrospective review of its significant regulations, and determine if they are ineffective, insufficient, or overly burdensome, and then revise or repeal as
warranted. In response, EPA is developing a review plan and a list of
candidate regulations for potential review, and we would like to solicit your input on both. In order to do so, the Office of Water is participating in two listening sessions to be held on March 14th, 2011, and March 17th, 2011.

EPA will hold an Agency-wide Public Meeting on Monday March 14, 2011 from 9:30 a.m. until 4:45 p.m to solicit feedback on the Agency’s draft
review plan and all EPA regulations. The Office of Water will be
hosting two water-specific listening sessions in the afternoon. This public meeting will be held at the Hilton Arlington, 950 N. Stafford Street, Arlington, VA 22203. Please review additional information
available at: http://www.epa.gov/improvingregulations/ Registration
information for the March 14th Public Meeting is available here:
http://improvingregulations.eventbrite.com/

The Office of Water will also solicit input from the public and hold a webinar listening session on water-specific significant regulations on
March 17th, from 2:00 - 3:30 p.m., EST. Additional information,
including information on registering for this Office of Water webinar, can be obtained by going to EPA’s website http://www.epa.gov/improvingregulations/, or you can contact Keith Bartlett at [email protected]

Keith Bartlett
U.S. EPA
On Detail to the Water Policy Staff
EPA East 3226C
(202) 564-2385


TDEC budget hearings

February 2nd, 2011 by Renée Hoyos

I know… snooze city.  But there is some really useful information in these hearings. 

 

Did you know that TDEC’s total budget is $334.5 million dollars? Or that 23% comes from the general fund, 21% comes from the feds as pass through to programs that TDEC administers and the remaining 56% comes from fees for permits and parks concessions.  Me neither!

 

It looks like 6 swimming pools will be on the chopping block. But they will be replaced with splash pools. Not quite sure what a splash pool is.

 

Around $75 million go to local governments for drinking water and sewage water programs.

 

The first tier of reductions are those positions that deal with new sewage treatment plant permits.  Since development has taken a dive in recent years, those folks have little to do.

 

The second tier of cuts will be for abandoned mine reclamation, stream restoration and historic commission funding.  That’s too bad.  There are a number of abandoned mines and streams that need to be restored.

 

Parks are doing well. For every dollar invested the state makes $17.

 

Seems Commissioner Martineau understands that environmental programs need to be protected because there are federal monies and requirements attached to them.

 

Ok, maybe this is a snooze fest.


State soliciting water quality information

January 26th, 2011 by Dana Wright

TDEC is requesting data on water quality conditions of specific watersheds throughout the state in preparation for next year’s federally mandated analysis - often referred to as the 303(d) list.  Data is due to TDEC no later than February 28.  Read the complete public notice.

Applicable watersheds include:  North and South Fork Holston, Little Tennessee (Tellico), Lower Clinch, Tennessee (Chickamauga), Tennessee Western Valley (Beech), Tennessee Western Valley (KY Lake), Upper and Lower Duck, Buffalo, Wolf and Clarks.  Check out TDEC’s watershed management website for specific watershed information.


New faces at TDEC and the state legislature

January 25th, 2011 by Renée Hoyos

2011 is shaping up to be a year of firsts: first woman to lead the state House of Representatives as Speaker, first time the House, Senate and Governor are from the same political party.  What does this mean for environmental work in Tennessee. Good question!  I don’t know.  Sorry.

As we look at the committee structures, many pro-environment legislators are still working on the environmental committees.  That’s a good thing!  The TDOT and TDEC Commissioner appointments look satisfactory from here.  Rumor has it that long time TDEC employees may be looking towards retirement.  So we may see a number of new faces and changes taking place at the state level.

Commissioner Schroer of TDOT

Commissioner Martineau of TDEC

Budget constraints are worrisome.  Tennessee faces some difficult financial challenges ahead and often its the environmental departments that get the axe.  Caution should be exercised here as too deep cuts may jeopardize federal funding.

The Session has not started and so its too early to say what will or will not happen.  TCWN will be watching committees and reporting to you on Twitter, so follow us there.

RvH