Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation

A stretch of the Duck River in Marshall County where a water treatment plant is proposed. Courtesy: Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation

With growth comes the need for new drinking water sources in Marshall County

BY: - July 19, 2021

Marshall County, located outside what was once considered the boundary edge of growing suburbs circling Nashville, has seen explosive growth of its own in recent years — call it the Williamson County overflow effect, says County Mayor Mike Keny. Drawn by more affordable housing, jobs and the rural character of the county — about an hour […]

A controversial quarry near farmland in Wilson County was ordered to stop work after beginning blasting without a permit. (Photo: Wilson County)

Wilson County residents push back against state efforts to approve limestone quarry

BY: - July 14, 2021

Marsha Midgett and her husband have been raising livestock on family land owned for generations in east Wilson County, but she now worries that the state’s steps toward approving a permit for rock mining quarry may put the future of their farm in jeopardy. The Midgetts rely on wells for drinking water. Ponds on their […]

An apartment building under construction on McEwen Drive in Franklin. (Photo: staff)

State regulators plan to loosen runoff rules at construction sites

BY: - June 30, 2021

A state plan to rollback longstanding regulations for construction site runoff is drawing opposition from environmental groups who fear that Tennessee creeks ands streams will suffer. Stormwater discharges from construction sites —rainwater that sweeps soil or other particles off-site — can flow into nearby waterways, often creating silt deposits that impact aquatic life and water […]

Fees to clean up leaks from underground oil storage tanks th being shifted from the oil industry to the public.(Photo: John Partipilo)

State lawmakers cut big oil a big break

BY: - June 9, 2021

Two weeks after the formal close of the Tennessee legislative season, a committee of lawmakers agreed to give the state’s petroleum companies a big break. The Joint Government Operations Committee approved new rules that shift the financial burden of cleaning up toxic spills at gas stations and truck stops from business owners to taxpayers for […]

(Art: Getty Images)

Carr unveils harassment complaints after hedging response

BY: - May 26, 2021

A day after denying knowledge of sexual harassment complaints against him within the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, Rutherford County mayoral candidate Joe Carr went on the offensive. Carr, a former three-term Republican state house member from Lascassas, posted copies on Facebook Wednesday of the state’s harassment investigation of him, saying, “Liberal big government […]

Train cars loaded with coal sit on the tracks at a Blackjewel mining operation on August 22, 2019 in Cumberland, Kentucky. A group of coal miners blockaded the tracks and prevented the train from leaving the mine after Blackjewel filed for bankruptcy, ceased operation and payed the miners their final pay with bad checks. The shutdown left more than 300 miners in Harlan County with no jobs and owed payment for three weeks of work. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

State to retake coal mining regulation with industry at rock bottom

BY: - May 26, 2021

“Mister Peabody’s Coal train” doesn’t run much through upper East Tennessee these days. The trains John Prine sang about in his famous song, “Paradise,” are practically non-existent. Compared to the 1950s and ’60s when Claiborne, Campbell and Scott counties were considered coal-mining country, the industry has nearly vanished, according to those who monitor it. Yet […]

Murfreesboro Mayor Shane McFarland sits with his face in his hands at a contentious meeting to discuss the Middle Point landfill in Murfreesboro. (Photo: John Partipilo)

While battles loom over landfills, Middle Tennessee hurtles toward a trash crisis 

BY: and - May 24, 2021

From a lawsuit over the rejected expansion of a landfill in Nashville to the protracted political battle over closing the landfill in Murfreesboro, the urgency of Middle Tennessee’s trash crisis has increased in intensity in recent months. The situation has all the ingredients for a political logjam. Neighborhoods across the region have made blocking new […]

Map of Tennessee sewage systems (Source: Southern Environmental Law Center)

For-profit sewage providers are seeking access to public funds, a move environmental groups oppose

BY: - April 1, 2021

Last spring, neighbors in the River Rest Estates subdivision in Williamson County made an unpleasant discovery: a sewage-smelling sludge surging out of a manhole cover next to soccer fields in the community’s recreational areas. Strewn around the manhole were blobs of soiled toilet paper. In the nearby Cartwright Creek, some of the fish were dead. […]

The landfill operated by Waste Management in northwest Davidson County. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Elected officials add voices to debate over Nashville landfill in Black neighborhood

BY: - March 24, 2021

A public oversight board will meet Wednesday to weigh the future of a landfill in northwest Nashville that takes in 90 percent of all construction waste generated in the city but will reach capacity within the next three years.  For decades, the Southern Services landfill has been the final destination for debris from commercial and […]

Paris Landing State Park (tn.gov)

State parks sexual harassment lawsuit can go forward, Tennessee Court of Appeals rules

BY: - March 18, 2021

A sexual harassment lawsuit against the state of Tennessee by a woman who claims she was assaulted by a supervisor at a staff Halloween party in Paris Landing State Park will be allowed to go forward, the Tennessee Court of Appeals ruled. Kelly Phelps is one of at least five female state employees who alleged […]

The Butterfly, a popular attraction at Dollywood Splash Country. (Photo: Dollywood)

COVID-19 puts damper on tourist activities and revenue for long weekend

BY: - May 22, 2020

Memorial Day weekend normally kicks off Tennessee’s summer tourist season, but given the COVID-19 pandemic, many  entertainment facilities will remain postponed until further notice, putting a damper on an otherwise big weekend for visitor activity. Gov. Bill Lee lifted restrictions May 15 for large attractions, such as amusement parks, waterparks, theaters and museums. With most […]