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TCWN settles Clean Water Act lawsuit with Knox County developer

Knoxville, TN - January 31, 2011
Today federal district Judge Thomas Phillips entered a consent decree resolving a citizen suit brought by the Tennessee Clean Water Network against local developer David Trantanella.  The lawsuit alleged that Mr. Trantanella had violated the Clean Water Act over the course of more than five years by discharging excessively muddy water from the 26-acre Casa Bella subdivision in East Knox County.
The Consent Decree imposes a numeric limit on turbidity.  “This is the first construction site in Tennessee to have to comply with a numeric limit,” said TCWN Staff Attorney Stephanie Matheny.  “Having a number makes it clear to everyone – including the developer – what is required.  The current permits basically say ‘don’t discharge too much sediment’ – that standard is really hard to enforce.”
Construction sites are a major cause of water pollution in Knox County.  Huge amounts of mud can be released from construction sites unless developers are diligent about their stormwater controls.  Too much mud in a stream transports chemicals, harms fish and aquatic life, creates flooding and damages private property.
“We are pleased that Mr. Trantanella has agreed to get his site under control and work to keep it that way,” said TCWN Executive Director Renée Victoria Hoyos.
“We want to put other Knox County developers on notice: the Tennessee Clean Water Network may be watching your sites,” continued Ms. Hoyos.  “The time for lax compliance is over.  If your site is polluting streams or harming downstream landowners, you need to clean up or you may be hearing from us, too.”
Under the Consent Decree, Mr. Trantanella will also pay $7,500 as a supplemental environmental project in lieu of a penalty to the federal government.  These funds will go to Conservation Fisheries, Inc to support reintroduction of native, non-game fish species in the Holston River watershed.
To see the consent decree and other document related to the case, click here.            .

Tennessee Clean Water Network

625 Market St.
Knoxville, TN 37901
Mailing Address:
PO BOX 1521
Knoxville, TN 37901
Office: 865.522.7007
Fax: 865.525.4988