Environment

A general view during the inauguration of a green-tech "REFHYNE" hydrogen production plant at the Shell Energy and Chemicals Park Rheinland on July 02, 2021 in Wesseling, Germany. The REFHYNE plant is to produce sustainable fuel for aircraft. (Photo by Andreas Rentz/Getty Images)

States are vying for money to start ‘hydrogen hubs.’ What are they?

BY: - October 25, 2022

Across the country, states are inking agreements with neighbors or striking out on their own to pursue billions in federal funding to set up “hydrogen hubs,” clustered centers for production, storage and use of the gas that many see as a crucial piece of the puzzle for decarbonizing the U.S. economy. How broad a role […]

A barge navigates the historically-low Mississippi River at Memphis. (Photo: Dulce Torres Guzman)

West Tennessee farmers struggle to get crops to market as drought drains Mississippi River

BY: - October 24, 2022

John Dodson’s corn, cotton and soybean fields lie fewer than 10 miles from the Mississippi River, the key transportation artery for west Tennessee grain farmers. But they might as well be a thousand. Historically low water levels on the river are coming at the worst possible time for him. It’s peak harvest season, but he can’t […]

Ronnie Bowan attends a public meeting that the EPA held in a church in Memphis on Tuesday Oct. 18, 2022. The meeting was to help inform residents about an elevated cancer risk for those who live in South Memphis near the Sterilization Services of Tn. located on Flordia Street. There are over 100 commercial sanitization sites in the USA, 23 in various locations of which have been associated with cancer risk levels due to Ethylene Oxide Emissions. (Photo: Karen Pulfer Focht)

EPA tells South Memphis residents little recourse exists to deal with toxic emissions

BY: - October 20, 2022

At Monumental Baptist church in South Memphis, local residents lined up to tell federal officials how cancer possibly linked to their environment had taken their loved ones, friends and family.  Officials from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency flew into town to inform residents of the possible deadly consequences of living near Sterilization Services of Tennessee, […]

A locked gate keeps trespassers out of the former Monsanto plant property in Maury County. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Maury County approves Jackson Law requiring local approval for trash facilities and landfills

BY: - October 17, 2022

The Maury County Commission on Monday unanimously enacted the Jackson Law, a measure that gives local governments control over whether to approve privately-owned landfills and trash facilities within their jurisdictions. The 21-0 vote followed widespread community backlash over plans by Louisiana-based Trinity Business Group to create a large-scale waste processing and recycling plant, tire shredding […]

The property is now home to four Superfund sites, a designation given by the federal government to property containing hazardous substances harmful to human health for generations to come. 

Maury County considers law to regulate proposed facility on Monsanto site

BY: - October 17, 2022

In an urgent effort by local officials to claim a role in deciding whether privately-owned trash facilities are built in their community, the Maury County Commission today will consider passage of the Jackson Law. The Jackson Law requires local approval for any commercially-operated landfill – or facility that processes household and commercial garbage, such as […]

A locked gate keeps trespassers out of the former Monsanto plant property in Maury County. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Fight looms over proposed Maury County mega trash site

BY: - October 13, 2022

A Louisiana company’s plan to construct large-scale trash recycling, tire shredding and incineration operations on a federally designated Superfund site in Maury County is receiving increasing pushback. Trinity Business Group in June applied for a state permit to establish the mega waste site on a rural stretch of land just outside the county seat of […]

Sterilization Services of Tennessee in South Memphis is at the center of an Environmental Protection Agency investigation. The EPA is warning people who live near medical sterilizing plants about potential health risks from emissions of ethylene oxide (EtO), a chemical widely used in their operations. (Tennessee Lookout/Karen Pulfer Focht)

In South Memphis, residents cope with toxic chemical pollution as EPA investigates

BY: - October 12, 2022

Leona Golster loves her home in South Memphis, but sometimes it’s hard for the 78-year-old to breathe on her front porch.  Every now and then, the wind blows the smell of chemicals from the Sterilization Services of Tennessee, a facility that uses ethylene oxide (EtO) to sterilize equipment for businesses throughout Tennessee.  “Smells like they’re […]

A Nashville landfill, not operated by BFI. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Middle Point operators say city, county the source of toxins found at landfill, not them

BY: - October 11, 2022

In their ongoing dispute with the city of Murfreesboro, operators of the Middle Point Landfill are now blaming toxic pollutants found in runoff from the landfill and in nearby waterways on a city-run wastewater treatment plant and a landfill operated by Rutherford County. In August, the city of Murfreesboro filed suit against BFI Waste Systems […]

A hopper car on a train filled with coal to be delivered to a TVA coal-fired plant.(Photo: John Partipilo)

TVA sued in worker electrocution death at Bull Run plant; report warned of safety concerns

BY: - October 10, 2022

The Tennessee Valley Authority is being blamed in the electrocution death of a contract laborer at its Bull Run Fossil Plant in Anderson County. A lawsuit on behalf of the estate of Seth Black, a 29-year-old Spring City, Tenn., man who died at the plant in September 2021, has been filed in U.S. District Court […]

A hopper car on a train filled with coal to be delivered to a TVA coal-fired plant.(Photo: John Partipilo)

Report says many utilities are slow-walking clean energy goals

BY: - October 6, 2022

DENVER – A report released this week by the Sierra Club faults dozens of utilities that provide a major chunk of U.S. electric generation for failing to speed up their decarbonization efforts.  “For the sake of our communities and planet, we must do everything in our power to create a clean, renewable electric grid by […]

Early morning fog off the Cumberland River in Nashville, Tenn. (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)

Lawsuit: Cookeville discharged millions of gallons of untreated sewage into creeks and streams

BY: - September 26, 2022

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 […]

A locked gate keeps trespassers out of the former Monsanto plant property in Maury County. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Lawmakers demand town hall meeting on plans for Maury County mega waste site

BY: - September 26, 2022

Two Republican lawmakers are asking state environmental regulators to halt approvals for a large-scale trash recycling and incineration plant in Maury County on a federally designated superfund site where chemical weapons agents were once manufactured. State Sen. Joey Hensley and Rep. Scott Cepicky, who each represent portions of Maury County, said they were concerned about […]