Environment

John Partipilo photographed Mike O’Neal, a longtime hunter, as he surveyed an expanse of the Bridgestone Firestone Centennial Wilderness Area where clearcutting is planned to create quail habitat.

Lawmakers prod wildlife agency for better communication

BY: - February 17, 2022

The Republican chairman of the Tennessee Senate Energy, Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee on Wednesday asked state wildlife officials to consult with the legislature before embarking on any portion of a controversial plan to clearcut hardwood forests in a White County wilderness area. The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency planned to clearcut about 2,000 acres of […]

Two men remove a tree downed during a Feb. 3 ice storm in Shelby County. (Photo: Karen Pulfer Focht)

Memphis council grills MLGW over outages

BY: - February 16, 2022

On Monday, Memphis’ electricity provider, Memphis Light, Gas and Water, finished restoring power for the last of the 233,460 customers who lost power after ice storms knocked it out for almost two week.  On Tuesday, a Memphis City Council committee met with MLGW officials to discuss the city’s power outage problems, noting that Memphis has […]

Cook Recreation Area at J. Percy Priest Lake. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Corps of Engineers seeks to develop Nashville lake recreation area

BY: - February 14, 2022

On a sunny winter day —  light glinting off the water, an optimistic angler casting off a wooden fishing pier, a couple sitting shoulder to shoulder on the shoreline — Frances Clark headed through the wilderness area at Cook Recreational Area on a path she has hiked for nearly 27 years and pointed to all […]

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

Odors ‘like feces’ and runny eyes: Complaints grow for Middle Point Landfill

BY: - February 11, 2022

More than 1,600 complaints about the Middle Point Landfill have poured into a Murfreesboro “odor reporting portal” since December, describing smells emanating from the 207-acre site as “like feces,” “a rotting, gaseous smell,” “like methane and musky shoes” and driving some residents indoors with runny eyes, scratchy throats and headaches. On Tuesday, an attorney for […]

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

TVA chief Lyash gets more power from board

BY: - February 10, 2022

The TVA Board of Directors voted to give CEO Jeff Lyash authority over federal advisory committees and economic development contracts, causing concern among environmental groups. On Thursday, the board of directors met the day after allowing public comment for the first time in two years, having cited COVID concerns as a reason to keep meetings […]

Tree trunks in the Bridgestone Firestone Centennial Wilderness Area in Sparta marked for clearcutting, despite local opposition. Photo: John Partipilo

Wildlife officials scale down deforestation plans in White County

BY: - February 3, 2022

State wildlife officials have reluctantly scaled back plans to raze large portions of forest on public land in rural White County after blowback from local residents, a threatened lawsuit and the demand last week from a bipartisan group of 34 Tennessee lawmakers to “stop all action on the plan immediately.” The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, […]

Southern Services Landfill in Nashville's Bordeaux community. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Bill would require local officials’ approval for aging landfill expansions

BY: - February 2, 2022

Local mayors and legislative bodies would get a say in whether aging landfills are allowed to expand under a bill introduced by a pair of Republican lawmakers who represent parts of Rutherford County, where a dispute over widening the Middle Point landfill continues. The bill by Rep. Bryan Terry and Sen. Dawn White would require […]

Eastman Chemical, based in Kingsport, Tenn. (Photo: Facebook)

Eastman Chemical ‘steam line failure’ rains debris in Kingsport neighborhood; traces of asbestos found

BY: - February 2, 2022

A day after residents of Kingsport, Tenn. were rocked by the sound of a loud blast, smoke plumes, raining debris and power outages from a “high pressure steam line failure” at the Eastman Chemical Plant, company officials distributed fliers saying the incident was highly unlikely to cause health problems while local news outlets captured images […]

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

TDEC in litigation over water withdrawal from Duck River

BY: - January 28, 2022

At Old Stone Fort State Archeological State Park in Manchester, the Duck River and the Little Duck River converge, cascading along the edge and allowing visitors to stand upon mossy rocks to peer into its numerous waterfalls. During peak seasons, the Duck River becomes the backbone of the region’s outdoor recreational economy, supporting an estimated […]

Tree trunks in the Bridgestone Firestone Centennial Wilderness Area in Sparta marked for clearcutting, despite local opposition. Photo: John Partipilo

Bipartisan bill would strip TWRA of ability to generate agency revenues from timber sales

BY: - January 27, 2022

For decades, the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency has kept the profits from the sale of  timber and other natural resources on publicly-owned lands, folding the payments from logging companies into the agency’s annual operating budget. A bipartisan bill introduced in the Tennessee Legislature this week seeks to bring that practice to an end. The measure, […]

John Partipilo photographed Mike O’Neal, a longtime hunter, as he surveyed an expanse of the Bridgestone Firestone Centennial Wilderness Area where clearcutting is planned to create quail habitat.

In rare show of bipartisanship, 34 Tennessee lawmakers slam TWRA plans to clearcut

BY: - January 25, 2022

A bipartisan group of state lawmakers on Tuesday urged Tennessee wildlife officials to immediately halt all plans to clearcut 2,000 acres of hardwood trees at the publicly-owned Bridgestone Firestone Centennial Wilderness Area in White County. Calling the plan damaging to the environment and the local economy, and criticizing the state’s Wildlife Resources Agency for breaching […]

Tree trunks in the Bridgestone Firestone Centennial Wilderness Area in Sparta marked for clearcutting, despite local opposition. Photo: John Partipilo

State put on 60-day notice of lawsuit over plans to raze hardwoods on public lands

BY: - January 21, 2022

A controversial plan to raze 2,000 acres of hardwood trees on state-owned land in White County may harm numerous protected species in violation of the federal Endangered Species Act, a legal notice delivered to state wildlife officials and the Bridgestone company alleges. The Jan. 10 letter from an attorney representing Marvin Bullock, the president of […]