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Tennessee State Legislation

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The Tennessee State Legislature reviews and often passes legislation pertinent to our environment, and specifically our water quality.  From January to May of each year legislators meet in committees, on the floor of their respective houses, and with a variety of lobbyists to discuss legislation.  Each General Assembly session takes two years.  During this time all legislation which has been introduced is still in play, but at the end of each session any current business ceases.  Learn more about Tennessee's General Assembly.  


This April concluded the 108th Tennesssee General Assembly. The following are a few of the bills TCWN tracked:


HB2227 (Powers) / SB 1998 (Yager):  The intent of this bill was to return delegated authority to the state for managment of surface mining permits. TCWN opposes this idea. HB1832 (Carr, J) / SB1883 (Nicely) also dealt with this issue. It required TDEC to research the means to regain authority. Check out TCWN's press release on these bills. These bills were taken off notice for the year with the intention to work on this issue over the next several months and introduce a new bill next session. TCWN will work to adamently oppose this legislation next year. 


HB1437 (McCormick) / SB1641 (Norris):  As introduced, it improved the organization of the Board of Water Quality, Oil and Gas. However, this bill was amended inthe House Agriculture and Natural Resources to codify different treatment for different Board members. Therefore, TCWN opposed the bill as amended. It passed and became Public Chapter 624.


SB1734 (Bell) / HB2386 (Calfee):  Would have required live streaming of all state meetings. TCWN supported this bill, however the bill was sent to summer study committee.


HB2142 (Pitts) / SB2064 (Finney):  Prohibited fracking in the state. The Senate sponsor decided not to pursue this bill this session.


HB2023 (Johnson, G) / SB1980 (Finney):  Scenic Vistas Protection Act - prohibited mountain top removal mining. This bill died in the Senate E, A & NR committee due to the lack of a second motion to consider it. 



The committees, renamed in 2013, most frequently involved in water quality legislation are the House Agriculture & Natural Resources Committee and the Senate Energy, Agriculture, & Natural Resources Committee.  It is the role of these committees to review all legislation impacting the condition of our streams, changing water quality regulations, and all matters pertaining to water quality pollution.


Updated May 1, 2014


News Release - Coal Program Primacy.doc92 KB
Talking Points HB1437 Amendment.pdf102.08 KB

Tennessee Clean Water Network

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