Early morning fog off the Cumberland River in Nashville, Tenn. (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
The city of Cookeville is illegally discharging sewage into streams and creeks that feed into the Cumberland River, diminishing aquatic life and contaminating waterways used for boating, fishing, swimming and other recreational uses, a lawsuit filed by the nonprofit environmental group, Tennessee Riverkeeper, claims.
The city’s sewage treatment plant has cited for violations more than 300 times in the past five years, with over 10 million gallons of untreated sewage released during that time period, state records cited in the lawsuit show.
“These violations have an adverse impact on waters of the United States and waters of the state,” the lawsuit, filed in federal court on Friday said.
The lawsuit is seeking a declaration from the court that Cookeville has violated the federal Clean Water Act, an injunction to prevent them from continuing to do so, a $59,000 fine and payment of other costs associated with the legal action.
Laurin Wheaton, Cookeville’s mayor, did not respond to a request for comment Monday.Riverkeeper
Our stories may be republished online or in print under Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. We ask that you edit only for style or to shorten, provide proper attribution and link to our web site. Please see our republishing guidelines for use of photos and graphics.