Environment

Bowie Nature Park in Fairview, Tenn. will be affected by stormwater runoff from a proposed 166-house development. (Photo: BowiePark.org)

Flooding concerns halt Fairview development

BY: - April 21, 2022

For months, residents of Fairview showed up to local government meetings, armed with photographs of flooded basements and overflowing culverts.  “We cannot sustain any more water, not a single drop,” Diane Miller told the Fairview Board of Commissioners in April of last year as board members weighed whether to approve an 180-home subdivision – one […]

Nick Fielder holds a topographical map of the Sneed Road area in dispute. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Land use dispute pits prominent Nashville family against conservation group

BY: - April 19, 2022

Thousands of years ago, Native Americans, wild animals and later,early white settlers traveled along the Natchez Trace, on what is now Vaughn Road in Williamson County.  Around the corner lies Sneed Road, where Native Americans once settled alongside the Harpeth River, building their villages and homes on higher plains to avoid flooding, and burying their […]

A staff member from Civil and Environmental Consultants collecting a surface soil sample inside the playground, in the central area near the playground entrance where children would play or run to other playground equipment. TVA staff observe the sampling process. (Photo: Tennessee Department of Health)

Tennessee Health Department, TDEC, confirm toxic waste at Anderson County playground

BY: - April 14, 2022

State regulators have confirmed the presence of Tennessee Valley Authority radioactive coal ash waste at a playground in Anderson County — confirming the findings last year of a Duke University study that first revealed the threat to children playing there. The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation and the Tennessee Department of Health issued a […]

Aerial of the TVA plant in Kingsport Tennessee, Kingsport. on the Clinch River. An ash dam spill on December 22 2008 resulted in a major environmental issue for the area. (Photo: Karen Kasmauski for Getty Images)

OSHA officials admit to shredding documents in Tennessee Valley Authority coal ash case

BY: - April 12, 2022

For two months, teams of workers had been toiling around the clock to clean up a colossal spill of toxic coal ash unleashed in East Tennessee when a containment wall buckled, loosing millions of tons of the sludge across the landscape. They were working unprotected, secure in the knowledge they were safe because the Tennessee […]

WAVERLY, TN - AUGUST 23: A partially submerged Ford F-150 sits in Trace Creek on August 23, 2021 in Waverly, Tennessee. Heavy rains on Sunday caused flash flooding in the area, leaving at least 22 people dead and several more still missing. (Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images)

Waverly, Tenn. flood survivors sue CSX rail company for “man made tidal wave”

BY: - April 6, 2022

Following unprecedented flooding that killed 22 people in Waverly, TN in late August last year, ten families announced a class action lawsuit yesterday against a local rail company they believe is partly responsible. The group says CSX Transportation knew about infrastructure problems with a levee that broke and caused a 7-ft tidal wave but chose […]

A view of the Duck River, Tennessee longest river, from Old Stone Fort in Manchester. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation keeps Duck River withdrawal limits

BY: - April 5, 2022

The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation has agreed to keep water withdrawal limitations intact to protect the Duck River, denying an appeal from Marshall County to drop limits. The Duck River, which is the longest river to be entirely contained in Tennessee, is also one of the most biologically diverse rivers in North America. […]

The remains of a home smolder in the wake of a wildfire November 30, 2016 in Gatlinburg, Tenn. More than 100 houses and businesses were damaged or destroyed. Drought conditions and high winds helped the fire spread through the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains. (Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images)

Federal judge in Tennessee dismisses suits on behalf of Gatlinburg wildfire victims

BY: - April 1, 2022

A federal judge has dismissed a slew of lawsuits filed on behalf of hundreds of victims of a deadly wildfire that swept through Gatlinburg more than five years ago. U.S. District Court Judge Ronnie Greer says the wildfire victims failed in preliminary claim forms to warn the National Park Service that they intended to accuse […]

TVA Norris Dam in Anderson County (Photo: TVA website)

Southern Environmental Law Center slams TVA with suit

BY: - April 1, 2022

The Southern Environmental Law Center has filed a lawsuit against the Tennessee Valley Authority after its public records requests for contracts with methane-gas companies were met with heavily redacted records.  In 2019, TVA, which produces electricity for nearly 10 million people across the Southeast,  announced their plans to possibly retire several coal-fired plants throughout Tennessee […]

Paul Kline of Memphis gestures to attendees as he speaks before the House Commerce Committee: "You owe your allegiance to these people," he told lawmakers. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Tennessee House Commerce Committee passes amended pipeline bill

BY: - March 29, 2022

The House Commerce Committee passed a controversial energy infrastructure preemption bill that removes local control from communities, but with amendments proposed by environmental and community organizers.  On Tuesday, committee members passed HB2246  to allow exceptions for local zoning codes and local actions that are state authorized, among other tweaks that have loosened the bill. According […]

A pumping station in Dickson County at the site of a 1992 gas line rupture. (Photo: John Partipilo

Tennessee Senate passes bill to preempt local laws on oil and gas pipelines

BY: - March 25, 2022

The Tennessee Senate passed a controversial pipeline preemption bill on Thursday in spite of concerns about the effect oil and gas pipelines could have on personal property and drinking water. Before passage, Sen. Ken Yager, R-Kingston, sponsor of SB2077, amended the bill to allow for wellhead protections and to align with its House counterpart. Critics […]

Judges strike down Tennessee law allowing warrantless searches by state wildlife officials

BY: - March 23, 2022

The longstanding practice of conducting warrantless searches on private property by officers with the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency is unconstitutional, a three judge panel hearing a case in Benton County Circuit Court ruled Tuesday. The ruling invalidates Tennessee law that TWRA has relied on to conduct warrantless searches and surveillance on private land in order […]

Valero Memphis Refinery billowing smoke. Valero was one of two companies proposing the Byhalia Pipeline, a 40-mile oil conduit that would have gone through historic Black neighborhoods in Memphis. (Photo by Karen Pulfer Focht)

Bill to override local control of pipelines spurs statewide backlash

BY: - March 21, 2022

On March 2, a seemingly innocuous bill in the Tennessee General Assembly proposed a study on energy infrastructure,  but an amendment to remove local government’s ability to regulate fossil fuel infrastructure threw up red flags with legislators, local government officials and environmental groups. The bill was advancing quickly, and before a Senate committee meeting scheduled […]