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 […]

Wildlife officials release details of controversial plan to clearcut wilderness area

BY: - January 13, 2022

Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency officials have released details of a controversial plan to clear thousands of acres of forest in a popular, publicly-owned hunting and recreation destination in White County. About 2,000 acres in the Bridgestone Firestone Centennial Wilderness Area in White County — located about halfway between Nashville and Knoxville — will be cleared […]

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

Fight over landfill in historically Black Nashville neighborhood heads to court

BY: - January 12, 2022

UPDATE: On Wednesday, after publication of this story, the court rescheduled the date for a hearing in the legal battle over expanding a Bordeaux landfill. The hearing, originally set for Thursday, Jan. 12, is now scheduled for Tuesday, March 1. A dispute over the future of a landfill in the historically Black Bordeaux neighborhood of […]

Utility district withdraws effort to confiscate private land from influential Williamson Co family

BY: - January 4, 2022

A small water utility company has stood down from its legal fight to seize private property belonging to a prominent Williamson County family who waged a fierce public campaign against the plans to install large tanks holding millions of gallons of water on their land. The Milcrofton Utility District last week withdrew its petition to […]

Satellite image of a portion of the Megasite of West Tennesseee. (Tennessee Department of General Services.)

Ford megasite atop ‘recharge zone’ for underregulated Memphis Sands aquifer 

BY: - January 3, 2022

Ford Motor Co. promises a green future at its Blue Oval campus, where it will produce zero-emissions pickup trucks with advanced batteries. But forthcoming plans and actions in the new year will prove whether the company and the state are committed to protecting the existing environment at the megasite – like the Memphis Sands aquifer […]

Two Amish men continue their routine of delivering milk, while an American flag flies at half staff. (Photo: John Partipilo)

The year in photos: Part Two

BY: , and - December 30, 2021

In our second gallery of photographs that defined 2020, we share works by photojournalists John Partipilo and Karen Pulfer Focht on topics including the environment, families with special needs children and immigration issues. While 2021 wasn’t characterized by the same type of demonstrations that marked 2020, the year nonetheless had its share of demonstrations by […]

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

Nashville judge issues setback to Middle Point landfill expansion plans

BY: - December 22, 2021

A Nashville judge issued an unusual setback to controversial plans to expand a landfill in Rutherford County that serves as the final destination for household trash from 34 Tennessee counties, among them rapidly growing population centers in and around Nashville. Chancery Court Judge Russell Perkins on Monday ordered the dispute over Middle Point Landfill in […]