(865) 522-7007CONTACT

Citizens Groups Issue 60-Day Notice of Intent to Sue the City of Madisonville Regarding Clean Water Act Violations


Contact:   Stephanie Matheny (TCWN) – 865.522.7007 x102 or 865.244.5211 (cell)

                 Bill Waldrop (WATeR) – 865-809-1111





Two Citizens Groups Issue 60-Day Notice of Intent to Sue the City of Madisonville Regarding Clean Water Act Violations


August 4, 2014 - As a result of years of permit violations, the Tennessee Clean Water Network (TCWN) and the Watershed Association of the Tellico Reservoir (WATeR) have sent a 60-day notice of intent to sue to the City of Madisonville regarding chronic and egregious violations of the Clean Water Act.

            The City of Madisonville operates a wastewater treatment plant and a sewage collection system that discharge to Bat Creek, which is a tributary of the Tellico Reservoir of the Little Tennessee River.

            “Based on the records obtained from TDEC, Madisonville has reported more than 5,200 days of violation of numeric effluent limits from August 2009 to May 2014 as well as 136 overflows totaling millions of gallons of untreated sewage discharged to area streams,” said Stephanie Matheny, TCWN’s attorney.  “TDEC sampling has shown that the Madisonville system discharges nitrogen, phosphorus, and bacteria in amounts that are hazardous to humans and aquatic life in Bat Creek.”

            “Madisonville and TDEC have been working on this pollution problem since 2007, but for various reasons, have not reached a long-term solution to protect the people of Monroe and surrounding counties.  The intent of this 60-day notice is to let the officials in Madisonville and the state know that TCWN and WATeR are prepared to ask a court to compel action to bring this system into compliance with its permit requirements,” Matheny added.

            WATeR supports policies and projects that protect and improve the environment in and around Tellico Reservoir. The focus is on issues, policies, and practices that promote clean air, water, and natural habitat so that humans can live, work, and play in harmony with native plants and animals as well as with each other.

            “Many people have moved to the Tellico Reservoir area because of its unique scenic beauty and clean water,” said Bill Waldrop of WATeR.  “The continued pollution of our creeks and streams is a threat to this area’s way of life that is based on clean water and recreational use of the Tellico Reservoir.”

            “The record of environmental violations from this treatment plant reflects a pattern of discharges from the 1950s prior to the enactment of environmental laws.  This is what you expect to find in a Third World country, not in the 21st century in East Tennessee.  To correct these problems will likely require a major change in managerial attitude toward environmental stewardship and an allocation of appropriate resources to correct for years of neglect of maintenance and an upgrade of the entire sewer system,” Waldrop continued.

            “Many other cities along the Tennessee River and its tributaries have decided to live up to their environmental responsibilities by investing the money needed to bring their systems into compliance with the Clean Water Act,” Matheny noted.

            A copy of the 60-day notice, including a list of the violations alleged, is available at tcwn.org/cleanwater1.





About TCWN:

Tennessee Clean Water Network is a nonprofit organization created to advocate for strong policies and programs that result in more effective protection and restoration of Tennessee’s waters and to educate organizations, decision-makers and the public about important water resource issues.


Tennessee Clean Water Network

625 Market St.

Knoxville, TN 37902


Mailing Address:

PO BOX 1521

Knoxville, TN 37901


Office: 865.522.7007

Fax: 865.525.4988