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TCWN in the News

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Tennessee Clean Water Network's been busy! Check out our various mentions in the media. Articles are ordered newest to oldest, and links to the full articles online are included after each abstract.

 

2014

 

July 11, 2014

Greeneville Sun

ENVIRONMENTAL GROUPS TAKE ISSUE WITH TDEC RULES GOVERNING WATER QUALITY

 

July 10, 2014

Columbia Daily Herald

CITIZENS ASK EPA TO REJECT TDEC'S WATER QUALITY RULES

 

July 10, 2014

KnoxNews.com

GOATS RETURN TO CLEAR OUT INVASIVE WEEDS IN WILLIAMS CREEK URBAN FOREST

 

June 19, 2014

The Tennessean

TENNESSEE WATER CHIEF RESIGNING TWO YEARS AFTER SHAKEUP

 

June 9, 2014

WRCBTV.com

OUR WATER GETS AN 'A' BUT CLEAN WATER GROUP CALLS FOR HIGHER STANDARDS

 

May 19, 2014

Watchdog.org

ENVIRONMENTALISTS WANT EXPANDED STATE GOVERNMENT POWERS OVER BUSINESS

 

April 1, 2014

Newport Plain Talk

TCWN APPLAUDS NEW CLEAN WATER RULE TO RESTORE PROTECTION TO SMALL STREAMS AND MANY WETLANDS

 

March 12, 2014

Chattanooga Free Times Press

SCIENTISTS EYE PRESCRIPTION DRUG AMOUNTS IN TN RIVER

 

March 12, 2014

WATE-TV

RESEARCHERS FIND SMALL TRACES OF PHARMACEUTICALS IN TN RIVER

 

March 10, 2014

The Tennessean

PROPOSAL TO CHANGE COAL MINING REGULATION IN TN FACES OPPOSITION

 

March 5, 2014

The Tenessean

BILLS WOULD HELP, AND HARM, ENVIRONMENT

 

February 27, 2014

Nashville Scene

REPORT: STATE ISSUES FEWER FINES TO POLLUTERS

 

February 27, 2014

WBIR-TV

URBAN FOREST SET TO DOUBLE IN SIZE

 

February 27, 2014

Knoxville News-Sentinel

STATE SHOULD NOT REGULATE COAL MINES

 

2013

 

May 16, 2013

The Tennessean

ENVIRONMENTAL GROUPS SUE GOVERNMENT OVER MOUNTAINTOP REMOVAL COAL MINING

A coalition of environmental groups filed a lawsuit on Thursday claiming that federal agencies, including the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, unlawfully approved surface mining on Tennessee mountains.

You can read the whole story here.

 

April 26, 2013

The Tennessean

AVEDA FASHION SHOW TO BENEFIT CLEAN WATER PROGRAMS IN TENNESSEE

The Aveda Institute Nashville near CoolSprings Galleria will host a fashion show 6-8 p.m. Sunday to raise money for clean water programs in the state.The Catwalk for Clean Water Event will benefit the Tennessee Clean Water Network while serving as a backdrop for the institute's scholarship competition to be held the same evening.

You can learn more here

 

April 24, 2013

Metropulse

TCWN ACCUSES STATE OF INSUFFICIENT ENFORCEMENT OF CLEAN-WATER REGULATIONS

When the Tennessee Clean Water Network released its annual water-enforcement report last week, something looked odd. They collected data on the number of enforcement actions taken against groups or companies that had violated the terms of their discharge permits into Tennessee surface waters and had unnecessarily polluted nearby water sources, and found that there was a sharp drop last year. In fact, the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation made only 53 enforcement actions in 2012—a 75 percent decrease since 2007, when there were 219.

 

“We were appalled then [in 2007]. We thought wow, that is like 2.3 per county. We know there’s more bad stuff going on than that,” says Renée Hoyos, the executive director of the Tennessee Clean Water Network.

 

You can read the whole story here

 

April 18, 2013

Metropulse

TDEC ENFORCEMENT DOWN -- WAY DOWN -- ACCORDING TO NEW REPORT

The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation's water pollution enforcement actions have declined 75 percent since 2007, according to a new study released this week by the Tennessee Clean Water Network, even as the number of violations have not declined. In addition, the study shows that TDEC's enforcement actions aren't even focused on the parts of the states most likely to have problems: the urban metro centers. In 2012, Knox County only had one enforcement action, and Hamilton County had zero.

 

"It's really inexplicable," says Renee Hoyos, the executive director of TCWN. "By allowing violators to escape enforcement and to pay so little in fines, it sends the wrong message to polluters."

 

You can read the whole story here

 

March 7, 2013

WKSR

TCWN RESPONDS TO TVR'S NEW PERMIT

After it was announced that Tennessee Valley Recycling had received a new permit earlier this week from the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, the Tennessee Clean Water Network, the organization suing TVR, issued a statement.

According to TCWN, the permit allows TVR to discharge unlimited amounts of PCB’s (known cancer causing substances), total suspended solids, and oil and grease until September 2013, which rewards the company for its many permit violations with six months of not having to comply with regulations.

 

You can read the whole story here

 

February 21, 2013

Knoxville News Sentinel

PROPOSED NORTH KNOX KROGER GETS FIRST OK FROM COUNCIL

“I’m hoping for a quality development that’s going to bring some jobs, and frankly, tax money to that property that has been vacant for however many decades,” Fifth District Councilman Mark Campen said Wednesday.

 

With only a promise that the plans would include work to mitigate runoff, neighbors say they hope the 18-acre Kroger shopping center would include features to avoid excessive water. A wetland is on the site.

 

You can read the whole story here

 

January 29, 2013

Knoxville News Sentinel

ENVIRONMENTAL GROUPS BALK AS UT PUSHES FORWARD WITH FRACKING PROPOSAL

Environmental groups have banded together to ask the state to stop a University of Tennessee fracking proposal to drill for natural gas on its land in Morgan and Scott counties.

 

A request for proposals, or RFP, is scheduled to go before a subcommittee of the State Building Commission for approval on Thursday.

 

If the commission approves the proposal, UT would move forward with its plan to build and operate a hydraulic fracturing — or fracking — site and then study its environmental impacts.

 

You can read the whole story here

 

 

January 28, 2013

The Jackson Sun

CHATTANOOGA COULD BE A HOTSPOT FOR FRACKING

New state rules for hydraulic fracturing of rock to release natural gas have come about as interest builds in tapping the Chattanooga Shale formation.

 

The Chattanooga Times Free Press reported a half-dozen drilling companies have looked at property leases and mineral rights in Hamilton County. A spokeswoman with the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation said no permits have been granted and none are pending locally for the so-called “fracking” method of drilling.

 

You can read the whole story here

 

January 28, 2013

Chattanooga Times Free Press

STAGE IS SET FOR FRACKING IN TENNESSEE

East Tennessee in coming years may find itself front and center in the growing debate over fracking — the hydraulic or nitrogen gas fracturing of shale rock deep underground to free natural gas.

 

The region -- with Chattanooga at nearly dead center -- sits atop a layer, or "play" in driller language, of shale known as Chattanooga Shale.

 

You can read the whole story here

 

January 23, 2013

WKSR

TCWN REP HAS CONCERNS WITH PROPOSED NEW TVR PERMIT

Renee Victoria Hoyos, Executive Director of the Tennessee Clean Water Network, which is the organization suing Tennessee Valley Recycling in federal court, spoke at last night’s meeting.

 

Ms. Hoyos said that the proposed new permit is an improvement, but that TCWN still had several concerns.

You can read the whole story here

 

2012

December 29, 2012

Knoxville News Sentinel

EAST KNOXVILLE GREENWAY GETS $100K GRANT

A greenway expansion along a one-mile tract of urban forest near Williams Creek is moving forward thanks to a $100,000 grant from The Aslan Foundation.

 

The local charitable foundation granted the money earlier this month to the Tennessee Clean Water Network, a nonprofit that granted the 5-acre plot to the city earlier this year with the intention of turning it into a park.

 

You can read the whole story here

 

December 27, 2012

WBIR

WILLIAMS CREEK WATERSHED RECEIVES $100K GRANT FROM LOCAL NON-PROFIT

A donation from a local non-profit organization will allow the second phase of a watershed restoration project in East Knoxville to move forward.

 

The Aslan Foundation gave a $100,000 grant to the Tennessee Clean Water Network for its Williams Creek Watershed project. The network acquired the land in a settlement with the Knoxville Utilities Board, then gave it to the city last summer to be added to the greenway system.

 

You can watch the newstory here

 

December 24, 2012

WKSR

SOME QUESTIONS ANSWERED ABOUT TVR SUIT

There have been many questions and much speculation since it was announced last week that the Tennessee Clean Water Network would be suing Tennessee Valley Recycling in federal court. In an interview with WKSR, Renée Hoyos, Executive Director of TCWN, has helped to clear up some of the speculation.

 

You can read the whole story here

 

December 21, 2012

WKSR

THIS ISN’T TVR’S FIRST BRUSH WITH TCWN

Yesterday’s (Thursday) action against Tennessee Valley Recycling is not the first time the company has faced action from the Tennessee Clean Water Network.

 

In August, TCWN filed a 60-day notice of intent to sue TVR for alleged violations of the Clean Water Act. In that letter of intent, TCWN claims that the Pulaski branch of TVR has violated their limits on the amount of chemicals that can be dumped into Richland Creek at least 26 times.

 

You can read the whole story here

 

December 20, 2012

WKSR

TVR TO BE SUED IN FEDERAL COURT, ALLEGES CHEMICAL DUMP IN RICHLAND CREEK

The Tennessee Clean Water Network (TCWN) is filing suit in federal court in Nashville against Tennessee Valley Recycling for violations of the Clean Water Act at its scrap metal facility in Pulaski.

 

According to the suit, the Pulaski scrap yard has a list of violations going back over a decade.

The suit alleges that TVR is discharging polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), total suspended solids (TSS), and zinc into Richland Creek. Not only are they discharging the PCBs at 4-166% more than their permit limit, PCBs have actually been banned since 1977. The solids and zinc are being discharged at 4-166% and 3-240% times their permit limits.

 

You can read the whole story here

 

 

December 2, 2012

Knoxville News Sentinel

UT PLANS TO DRILL FOR GAS ON ITS LAND, STUDY FRACKING

 

The University of Tennessee plans to drill for natural gas in its research forest in Morgan and Scott counties, a proposal that would allow UT to lease its land to an oil and gas company and then study the environmental impacts of hydraulic fracturing — often called fracking.

 

The contract, which will go through a bidding process early next year, would let a company lease the land from the school and send royalties from any gas or oil produced from the well back to the university. That money, said UT officials, would finance the research into how fracking affects surrounding wildlife, geology and air and water quality. Those results could potentially influence industry standards and state regulations.

 

You can read the whole story here

 

December 2, 2012

The Tennessean

SIERRA CLUB FILES LAWSUIT AGAINST TVA OVER RECORDS

 

The Sierra Club wants the Tennessee Valley Authority to release more documentation about planned upgrades to a coal-fired power plant in Gallatin and give the public more time to comment on the project.

 

The environmental nonprofit last month filed a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against TVA seeking the documents and launched an online ad campaign calling the power plant obsolete.

 

You can read the whole story here

 

 

December 1, 2012

Knoxville News Sentinel

GAY LYONS: GALA GROWS FUNDS FOR EVENT SPACE AT BOTANICAL GARDEN

 

The Phoenix Building loft home of Linda Gay Blanc and Marshall Peterson was the site of a recent fundraiser for the Tennessee Clean Water Network. Guests enjoyed wine and appetizers and listened to a brief presentation by Renee Hoyos, executive director of the network, which organizes Tennesseans to protect clean water and create healthy communities by fostering civic engagement, building coalitions and advancing water policy for a sustainable future.

 

You can read the whole story here

 

October 11, 2012

Northjersey.com

3 ENVIRO GROUPS FIGHT MOUNTAINTOP MINING PERMIT

 

Three environmental groups are challenging a state permit for a mountaintop removal mining operation in East Tennessee.

 

The Sierra Club, Statewide Organizing for Community eMpowerment and the Tennessee Clean Water Network filed an administrative appeal Thursday with state environmental regulators. The petition says the permit from the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation allows greater pollution into streams and less stringent monitoring than is required by federal clean water laws.

 

You can read the whole story here

 

September 26, 2012

Metropulse

TENNESSEE LOOKS TO ADOPT NEW FRACKING REGULATIONS, BUT DO THEY GO FAR ENOUGH?

Last year the Legislature, operating on a directive from Gov. Bill Haslam’s office, passed a law that consolidated and streamlined a number of boards. Under the legislation, the state Oil and Gas Board will be merged with the Water Quality Control Board. But before the law goes into effect on Oct. 1, the Oil and Gas Board will meet one last time, this Friday, in Nashville, at 9:30 a.m. CDT. Only one item is on the agenda, and it’s not an exaggeration to say that it will affect the lives of Tennesseans for years to come.

 

That one solitary agenda item? The proposed rules to regulate hydraulic fracturing in oil and gas drilling in the state.

 

You can read the whole story here

 

September 23, 2012

The Commercial Appeal

SECOND YEAR FOR DUNCAN-WILLIAMS DRAGON BOAT RACES

 

Nearly four dozen teams raced for victory, medals and pollution-awareness in a harbor along the Mississippi River Saturday during the second annual Duncan-Williams Dragon Boat Races.

 

The event, a fund-raiser for a group called the Tennessee Clean Water Network, is meant to inspire those who live along the Mississippi to care for their waterways, said TCWN executive director Renée Hoyos.

 

You can read the whole story here

 

July 17, 2012

WRCB

CHATTANOOGA AGREES TO SETTLE CLEAN WATER CASE

 

The city of Chattanooga has agreed to pay more than $476,000 in a civil penalty in a settlement with federal and state authorities and environmentalists in a clean water case.

 

According to the Department of Justice, the city also agreed to improve its sewer systems to eliminate unauthorized overflows of untreated raw sewage. The city has estimated the cost at $250 million.

 

You can view the newstory here

 

July 17, 2012

The Chattanoogan

CITY REACHES AGREEMENT WITH EPA, STATE, & ENVIRONMENTAL GROUP REGARDING IT’S SEWER SYSTEM

 

The City of Chattanooga announced Tuesday that it has reached an agreement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the State of Tennessee, and the Tennessee Clean Water Network on a multi-year program to significantly minimize, and eliminate where possible, sanitary sewer overflows (SSOs) and improve the operation of its sewer system.  The settlement resolves a lawsuit filed by the U.S. Department of Justice on behalf of EPA and the lawsuit filed by the TCWN on Oct. 13, 2010, which alleged similar violations.

 

You can read the whole story here

 

 

July 16, 2012

Chattanooga Times Free Press

HUGE SEWER BILL LOOMS FOR CHATTANOOGA, TAXPAYERS:  CONSENT DECREE ANNOUNCED

 

A federal order that could cost Chattanooga hundreds of millions of dollars for sewer fixes will be made public this week.

 

It will involve work to revamp the city's wastewater treatment plant and hundreds of miles of underground sewer lines and alleviate system failures that have plagued the city for nearly a decade.

 

You can read the whole story here

 

 

July 16, 2012

WBIR

MASCOT MINING RUNOFF POLLUTION PROBLEM SETTLED

 

A local environmental group says it has worked out a new settlement to an old pollution problem in northeast Knox County. That is where large piles of leftover material from an old mining site have been polluting Flat Creek in the Mascot community.

 

The 118 acre plot of land is filled with a moonscape of tailings from an old zinc mine operation. The mine operated without any environmental regulations and the abandoned material has been washed directly into Flat Creek by heavy rains for decades.

 

You can see the whole newstory here

 

 

July 10, 2012

Knoxville News Sentinel

STATE CONSIDERS FRACKING REGS

 

The rush is on by the oil and gas industry to tap into the nation's abundant, but sometimes hard-to-extract supply of natural gas.

 

At a Tuesday afternoonpublic hearing in Knoxville, many opponents of the controversial method of drilling for natural gas in deep shale and tight formations — called hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking" — asked at what cost in Tennessee?

 

You can read the full article here

 

 

July 13, 2012

Knoxville News-Sentinel

AGREEMENT REACHED TO KEEP POLLUNTANTS OUT OF MASCOT CREEK

 

The waters of Flat Creek will run clearer in the future.

 

At least, that's the intent of Mine Road Properties LLC, the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation and the Tennessee Clean Water Network, which together have created a plan to stop runoff from a 118-acre former mining site from polluting the creek, a tributary to the Holston River.

 

You can read the whole story here

 

 

July 10, 2012

WBIR

LEADERS MEET WITH PUBLIC TO DISCUSS "FRACKING" REGULATIONS

 

State leaders are meeting with residents to discuss regulations for a controversial method of harvesting natural gas.

 

The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation held a public meeting Tuesday afternoon to get input on regulating hydraulic fracturing, commonly known as "hydro fracking."

 

You can read the full article here

 

 

July 9, 2012

The Tennessean

HYDROFRACKING THREATENS TENNESSEE'S WATER SUPPLY

 

Oil and gas exploration in Tennessee is nothing new. It has been happening in this state for almost 100 years.

 

Yet, new technology and the drive to become energy-independent have taken your grandfather’s oil and gas exploration techniques to a new level.

 

You can read the full article here

 

July 6, 2012

Legal News Online

BATTLE HEATS UP OVER COAL-FIRED ENERGY PERMIT IN TENNESSEE

 

A coalition of environmental activist groups filed an appeal Monday of a pollution permit issued for the Tennessee Valley Authority's Gallatin coal-fired power plant.

The action, filed with the Tennessee Water Quality Control Board, claims the wastewater discharge permit from the Tennessee Department of Environmental Conservation does not limit toxic discharges into the water.

 

You can read the full article here

 

 

July 3, 2012

Metropulse

HEARINGS ON FRACKING REGULATIONS NEXT WEEK

 

We know the only gas you're thinking about today is the kind you need to fire up your grill tomorrow, but if you care about water quality in the state, you might want to pay attention to this. 

 

 

Last year the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation overhauled its oil and gas drilling regulations but neglected to include any regulation of hydraulic fracturing, the controversial technique used to extract natural gas deposits from shale. TDEC finally started work on rules to govern fracking last fall and released a draft over the holidays. Now there's an updated draft of the regulations, and hearings on the revisions are set for July 10. The Tennessee Clean Water Network sent out a press release about the hearings today, which helpfully notes that you can submit public comment to TDEC by July 20 if you can't get on the record at the meeting. These rules could have a huge impact on natural gas production in the state, so it's a meeting well worth putting on your calendar.

 

 

You can read the full article here

 

July 2, 2012

ENews Park Forest

TENNESSEE GIVES FREE PASS TO DIRTY TVA COAL PLANT

 

Community and environmental groups appealed a pollution permit issued to Tennessee Valley Authority ("TVA") for its Gallatin coal-fired power plant to prevent toxic discharges of heavy metals and other harmful waste byproducts of burning coal. The plant’s polluted wastewaters are dumped into unlined ponds that allow pollution to continue to harm the environment.

 

You can read the full article here

 

June 26, 2012

WBIR

WILLIAMS CREEK GIVEN TO THE CITY OF KNOXVILLE

 

Knoxville City Council accepted a land gift in East Knoxville at their meeting Tuesday evening.

The Tennessee Clean Water Network owns the Williams Creek Property. The creek was hit hard by pollution from KUB utilities.  The network got the land in a past settlement with KUB. It offered the land to the city for free.

The network hopes the city can turn the land into green space for people to enjoy.

 

You can read the full article here

 

June 26, 2012

The Chattanoogan

CITY COUNCIL SET TO APPOVE CONSENT DECREE ON SEWAGE OVERFLOWS

 

The City Council on Tuesday night voted to approve a consent decree aimed at dealing with periodic sewage discharges into the Tennessee River at times of heavy rainfall.

 

You can read the full article here

 

June 26, 2012

Memphis Daily News

DUNCAN-WILLIAMS DRAGON BOAT DEMO DAY

 

Duncan-Williams Dragon Boat Demo Day will be held Tuesday, June 26, from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. at Mud Island River Park, 125 N. Front St. Attendees can get details about the Sept. 22 dragon boat race sponsored by Duncan-Williams Inc. investment firm and benefiting the Tennessee Clean Water Network. Visit memphis.dragonboatraces.com.

 

You can read the full article here

 

 

June 12, 2012

WBIR

PAST KUB LAWSUIT COULD SPUR GREENWAY EXPANSION

 

An old lawsuit against KUB could spur the extension of an East Knoxville greenway.

 

In 2003, the Tennessee Clean Water Network (TCWN), the City of Knoxville, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Justice filed a lawsuit against KUB claiming overflow from the utility company's sewers had polluted numerous city watersheds.

 

You can read the full article here

 

 

June 12, 2012

Knoxville News Sentinel

TENNESSEE CLEAN WATER NETWORK OFFERS LAND FOR PROPSED EAST KNOXVILLE GREENWAY

 

A natural-growth wooded area running nearly one mile down Williams Creek in East Knoxville could become part of the James White Greenway that, as proposed, would run all the way to the Knoxville Botanical Gardens.

 

The Tennessee Clean Water Network, a local nonprofit that supports environmental responsibility, displayed the approximate five acres of land comprising the so-called "Williams Creek Urban Forest" to city officials and neighborhood residents Tuesday morning during a tour celebrating the future use of the land.

 

You can read the full article here

 

JUNE 12, 2012

WBIR

KNOXVILLE LEADERS TOUR WILLIAMS CREEK PROPERTY

 

Knoxville leaders and the public got a chance to tour an East Knoxville urban forest that could add to the city's park system.

 

Right now, the Tennessee Clean Water Network owns the Williams Creek property. The creek was hit hard by pollution from KUB utilities.

 

The network acquired the land in a past settlement with KUB. Now, it wants to give that land to the city for free.
Tuesday, city leaders and several council members toured the property.

 

You can read the full article here

 

June 10, 2012

The Commercial Appeal

BROWNSVILLE FACTORY ACCUSED OF TOXIC HISTORY

 

On a Saturday morning 18 months ago, Husley Hunt looked up from his pond to witness a sight that was particularly troubling to someone who's health-conscious, grows organic vegetables and ardently hopes to live to be 100.

Workers were cleaning up chemical pollution from his property.

 

"They were vacuuming stuff out of this ditch," said Hunt, 66, pointing to a slender waterway shrouded in heavy vegetation. "That water still ain't looking right."

 

The cleanup was prompted by a spill at the Teknor Apex Tennessee Co. plant across the highway from Hunt's property.

 

You can read the full story here

 

April 4, 2012

Legal Newsline

EPA SUED OVER POLLUTION PETITION

 

Several environmental groups have filed a lawsuit against the Environmental Protection Agency alleging the agency failed to approve a petition to lower pollution into the Mississippi River Basin and the northern Gulf of Mexico.

The groups claim that excessive nitrogen and phosphorous pollution into these waters have resulted in the largest North American "dead zone."

 

You can read the full article here

 

April 4, 2012

Chattanooga Times Free Press

CHATTANOOGA AREA SEWER FIXES COULD COST $100 MILLION

 

Local utilities and Chattanooga soon could be saddled with upward of $100 million in mandated sanitary sewer improvements.

 

You can read the full article here

 

March 25, 2012

The Chattanoogan

CITY MAY SETTLE LAWSUIT OVER SEWER OVERFLOWS

The city of Chattanooga is apparently close to settling an October 2010 Federal Court lawsuit brought by the Tennessee Clean Water Network regarding periodic sewer overflows.

 

You can read the full article here

 

March 19, 2012

Jackson Sun

CLEAN WATER GROUP PLANS TO SUE HAYWOOD COUNTY TEKNOR APEX PLANT

 

The Tennessee Clean Water Network announced Monday that it has filed a 60-day notice of intent to sue Teknor Apex’s Haywood County plant over “alleged violations of the Clean Water Act.”

 

You can read the full article here

 

March 16, 2012

The Advocate

GROUPS FILE SUIT AGAINST EPA

 

A dozen environmental groups have filed two lawsuits against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to urge federal action on the annual “dead zone” of low oxygen that forms in the Gulf of Mexico every summer.

 

You can read the full article here

 

March 14, 2012

The Des Moines Register

IOWA ENVIRONMENTAL COUNCIL, NATIONAL GROUPS SUE EPA OVER POLLUTION LINKED TO GULF DEAD ZONE

 

The Iowa Environmental Council and a raft of other environmental groups this week sued the U.S. Environmental Protection, contending the agency and the state of Iowa haven’t done enough to keep nitrogen and phosphorus out of the Mississippi River.

 

You can read the full article here

 

February 18, 2012

Knoxville News-Sentinel

LETTER:  SEWER UPKEEP WORTH EXPENSE

 

In 2004, the Tennessee Clean Water Network, City of Knoxville, US Department of Justice, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation settled a lawsuit against the Knoxville Utility Board for violating the Clean Water Act over 1,000 times in the period between 2001-2003 which resulted in over 2.6 billion gallons of raw and partially treated sewage running in city streets, basements and ultimately into the Tennessee River.

 

You can read the full letter here

 

February 17, 2012

The Daily Sentinel

TVA URGED TO USE MORE RENEWABLE ENERGY

 

On the day TVA President and CEO Tom Kilgore said that the utility will continue to use a mix of sources, including nuclear energy, to provide power for its customers in seven southeastern states a group of environmental organizations delivered a letter to Kilgore and the TVA Board of Directors seeking that the company generate 25 percent of its power from renewable sources by 2020.

 

You can read the full article here

 

February 16, 2012

The Chattanoogan

ENVIRONMENTAL ORGANIZATIONS SEEK 25% RENEWABLE ENERGY GENERATION FROM TVA BY 2020

 

A letter endorsed by regional environmental organizations representing 15,000 members was delivered Thursday to TVA Board of Directors and CEO Kilgore by Attorney Mary Mastin. The letter asks the TVA board first to set a goal of 20 to 25% of its generation by 2020 or 2025 to be from renewable energy.

 

You can read the full article here

 

January 30, 2012

NJ.COM

ENVIRONMENTALISTS FROM ACROSS THE NATION TELL OBAMA THEY ARE OPPOSED TO DELAWARE RIVER DREDGING PROJECT

 

Nearly 60 environmental organizations from across the country have placed their names on a letter to President Barack Obama expressing their opposition to deepen the Delaware River’s 102 mile long navigational channel.

 

You can read the full artical here

 

January 21, 2012

The Commercial Appeal

ELETROLUX TO ADD TREES TO WETLAND

 

A contractor for Electrolux will plant some 1,500 trees and restore wetlands near Collierville to compensate for environmental damage resulting from construction of the company's kitchen-appliance plant in southwest Memphis, according to a proposal that's expected to receive approval soon.

 

You can read the full article here

 

2011

November 20, 2011

Chattanooga Time Free Press

CLEAN WATER: ACT WOULD HELP PROTECT WILDERNESS WATERSHEDS

 

Strolling along the Tennessee Riverwalk heading east, you look toward the mountains that give rise to the great river that dominates Chattanooga.  While the Tennessee River has significant water quality problems due to urban runoff and sewage waste, they would be worse were it not for protection of the mountain watersheds, including the Ocoee River, the Bald River and the Little Tennessee River.

 

You can read the full article here

 

October 20, 2011

WBIR

MASCOT WATERS MUDDIED BY FORMER MINING OPERATION

 

Wednesday's heavy rains provided a common and unwelcome sight to the community of Mascot in northeast Knox County.  As has been the case for decades, showers sent a cloud of runoff into Flat Creek from remnants of a nearby mining operation.

 

The milky trail of crushed limestone leads to a 100-acre site covered in a deep layer of legacy materials from a former zinc mining operation that shut down in the 1980s.

 

You can watch the newstory here

 

 

July 15, 2011

The Commercial Appeal, Memphis

DAY IN PICTURES: DUNCAN-WILLIAMS DRAGON BOAT RACES

 

PICTURE - Chris Behling, operations manager of Dynamic Dragon Boat Races, gives paddling instructions to a group of racers practicing for the Duncan-Williams Dragon Boat Races to be held September 24, 2011, at Mud Island River Park in Memphis.

 

You can view the picture and description  here.

 

 

July 14, 2011

The Daily News, Memphis

DUNCAN-WILLIAMS TO HOST DRAGON BOAT DEMO DAY

 

Duncan-Williams Inc. will host a Dragon Boat Demo Day Friday, July 15, from 2pm to 5pm at Mud-Island River Park. Participants may come by during the hours to demo some of the boats.

The demo day also offers attendees a chance to learn more about the Duncan-Williams Dragon Boat Races, benefiting the Tennessee Clean Water Network, and register to compete in the Sept. 24 race.

 

You can read the full article (story 3)  here.

 

 

July 13, 2011

Knox News Sentinel

STATE REVIEWS REPORTS ON STORMWATER RUNOFF AT UT SITE

 

Less than a month after a watchdog group reported finding record-high pollution levels in stormwater runoff from the University of Tennessee's Sorority Village project, the state is reviewing all reports taken from its roughly 15 visits to the construction site. The runoff samples collecte June 18 by the Tennessee Clean Water Network were found to have 32,500 Nephelomteric Turbidity Units (turbidity is a measure of the light penetration in water) - the highest ever recorded by TCWN from a construction site.

 

You can read the full article  here.

 

 

 

July 3, 2011

Knoxville News Sentinel

STAYING ON TOP OF PROBLEMS UNDERNEATH

 

Most water leaks KUB faces are of the slow, hidden variety, and are the main reason KUB loses about 31 percent of the water it produces each year. That figure is actually down from the 32 percent reported last year, thanks to a stepped up effort to make infrastructure improvements and the need to meet new water loss guidelines.

 

Renee Hoyos, executive director of the Tennessee Clean Water Network, said that, if not at least a cost issue, water lost by utility malfunctions is certainly a water conservation issue.

 

"What we work on with all municipalities is that they try to get their system as tight as possible," she said, to prevent disasters like the February water main break on Dutch Valley Road.

 

You can read the full article  here.

 

 

July 3, 2011

Knoxville News Sentinel

UT SORORITY VILLAGE CONSTRUCTION SITE FLUNKS POLLUTION TEST

 

Samples taken from the construction site last month by the Tennessee Clean Water Network tested even higher for excessive mud and sediment than the record-high levels the nonprofit group found there in July 2010. The latest results were also much higher than those found in separate samples collected a few days earlier by an environmental engineering firm hired by the project's designers to monitor the construction project, located at the corner of Neyland Drive and Kingston Pike, just a few yards from the Tennessee River.

 

You can read the full article  here.

 

 

July 2, 2011

Knoxville News Sentinel

 

CITIZEN'S VOICE: BILLS THREATEN TO TAINT CLEAN WATER, by Renee Hoyos

 

On June 22, the U.S. House Transporation and Infrastructure Committee passed a bill co-sponsored by Rep. John J. Duncan, Jr. (R-TN), and supported by Rep. Chuck Fleischmann (R-TN), tha twould take us back to the old days of patchwork water protection, where each state sets it's own water laws. The Clean Water Cooperative Federalism Act of 2011 (HR2018) is neither cooperative nor protective of clean water. It takes away the ability of the federal government to apply water quality standards that states must uphold. It also prevents the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency from objecting to a discharge permit that is wrongly issued by the state. To anti-federalists, I'm sure this sounds like a good idea (getting the feds out of the states' business), but there are two consequences from this bill worth considering.

 

You can read the consequences  here.

 

 

June 26, 2011

Knoxville News Sentinel

AFTER FLOODING, MISSISSIPPI RIVER'S LEVEES NEED REPAIRS

 

The federal levee system that prevented an estimated $62 billion in losses during Mississippi River flooding last month sustained a good bit of damage itself, Corps of Engineers officials say. The corps estimates it'll take $1 billion to $2 billion to repair and rebuild the Mississippi River & Tributaries Project, which stretches from Illinois to Louisiana and is the world's largest flood-control system.

 

You can read the full article  here.

 

And Salem News' version  here.

 

And (last time, promise) WDRB's version  here.

 

 

June 26, 2011

NOLA.com

CORPS OF ENGINEERS SAYS NEW MISSISSIPPI FLOODWAY SHOULD BE STUDIED

 

The head of the group overseeing work by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says another floodway could be needed to relieve pressure on levees along the Mississippi River. Major Gen. Michael J. Walsh told the Commercial Appeal that he's not saying the agency should build a new floodway to go with the four already in place, bu tit is an idea that should be studied.

 

You can read the full article  here.

 

 

 

June 26, 2011

 

The Memphis Commercial Appeal

MISSISSIPPI RIVER LEVEES TOOK QUITE A HIT FROM FLOODS

 

Renee Victoria Hoyos, executive director of the Tennessee Clean Water Network, said the levee system is partly to blame for the largest-ever dead zone (an area of low-oxygen levels caused mostly by agricultural runoff) that's expected to develop this summer in the Gulf of Mexico.

 

You can read the full article  here.

 

 

 

June 24, 2011

The Randolph County Herald Tribune

MISSISSIPPI FLOODING DEMANDS NEW MANAGEMENT STRATEGY

 

The Mississippi River nourished 18 million people, but the rules used to manage the world's largest flood control system haven't been updated since 1983. The Obama administration is a fresh chance to fix the mistakes of the past thirty years.

 

"We've been making the same mistakes over and over," said Paul Orr, the Lower Mississippi Riverkeeper in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. "Instead of our overreliance on levees and dams, we need to require that new federal water projects and investments protect and restore the floodplains and wetlands of the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers and their tributaries."

 

You can read the full article  here.

 

 

 

June 20, 2011

Knoxville News Sentinel

DEVELOPMENT WATCHDOG EARNS RIVER HERO AWARD

 

A Knox County cattle farmer's ongoing campaign to hold developers and property owners liable for stormwater violations has been recognized nationally by water quality advocates. James McMillan continues to make vigilant inspectinos of area construction sites, and to document violations of state and county regulations since he first took hold of a camera and began pushing for stronger government enforcement in 2002.

 

You can read the full article  here.

 

 

 

June 20, 2011

 

Knoxville News Sentinel

 KNOX COUNTY CATTLE FARMER JAMES MCMILLAN EARNS RIVER HERO AWARD

 

A Knox County cattle farmer's ongoing campaign to hold developers and property owners liable for stormwater violations has been recognized nationally by water quality advocates. Earlier this month, he was honored as one of six Tom's of Maine River Heroes Award winners for 2011 by the River Network, a national nonprofit leader in the watershed protection movement.

 

You can read the full article  here.

 

 

 

May 18, 2011

ChinaOilWeb.com

OIL, GAS BOARD'S MAKEUP BASHED

 

Tennessee's oil and gas industry has successfully prevented the passage of a bill this spring that would regulate the dangerous practice of hydrofracking. Many are up-in-arms about the cozy relationship the oil and gas industry have with the state government, especially the fact that leading officials from the industry have secured seats on the board that will make all final decisions concerning mining regulations. The even bigger issue is that TDEC asked these officials for their insights, but did not ask local environmental nonprofits, like TCWN. Seems like a rather unbalanced playing field.

 

You can read the full article  here.

 

 

May 4, 2011

Metro Pulse (Knoxville)

 

TENNESSEE'S NEW OIL AND GAS DRILLING REGULATIONS IGNORE 'FRACKING'

 

Hydraulic fracturing, as fracking is technically known, has been used, mostly in gas wells, since the late 1940s. But in recent years the technique has become one of the top concerns of environmentalists, after stories of water pollution, chronic health problems, and even explosions near drill sites in Pennsylvania and Texas made national news.

 

And that’s why environmental activists like Renee Hoyos of the Tennessee Clean Water Network (TCWN) are more than a little disturbed that the new draft of the state’s regulations on oil and gas drilling doesn’t even mention fracking once.

 

 

You can read more of the article  here.

 

 

April 21, 2011

Times Free Press

GOVERNOR TARGETS REGULATIONS

 

One element of Gov. Bill Haslam's new jobs plan is to put environmental regulations - even federal ones - on a "hit list."

 

Renee Hoyos, executive director of the Tennessee Clean Water Network, said the state already has relaxed regulation. "I can't imagine how much more 'streamlined' they could get," she said Wednesday after hearing about the new jobs plan. "They seem to be very willing to give out permits. And it's not like they're out there over-enforcing."

 

You can read the full article  here.

 

 

 

April 15, 2011

Knoxville News Sentinel

NONPROFITS NOT INTIMIDATED BY CRITICAL EMAIL

 

TCWN and several other nonprofit organizations were threatened via email by a person who identified themselves as Jeff Baker. Baker claimed in the email he/she wrote to members of Knoxville City Council and Knox County Commission that the nonprofits did not have the legal right to lobby local governments. TCWN's attorney, Stephanie Matheny says the claim is preposterous. TCWN has an "H" exemption from the IRS, meaning the organization can lobby up to 20 percent of its time and resources. Matheny also pointed the emailer to Tennessee's anti-SLAPP statute, which makes it a crime to threaten civil action in the form of a strategic lawsuit against political participation by citizens.

 

You can read the full article  here.

 

 

April 12, 2011

WBIR

NEWSMAKER: RENEE HOYOS

 

Renee Hoyos, director of the Tennessee Clean Water Network, talks with WBIR about the Little Pigeon River disaster where a wall at a sewage plant collapsed, killling two workers and spilling thousands of gallons of untreated sewage into the local waterways.

 

You can watch the video interview  here.

 

 

 

April 6, 2011

Knoxville News Sentinel

SEWAGE REROUTED AS WATER CONSERVATION URGED

 

Assessments of damage and environmental impacts from a wastewater treatment tank failure are expected to begin "at first light" in Gatlinburg today. Wastewater is being rerouted to an older plant, where a screen is in place that can catch some solids, but the wastewater ultimately goes into the West Prong of the Little Pigeon River.

 

The Tennessee Clean Water Network said on Tuesday it will be monitoring the situation. "We think this is something that will unfold as it goes along," said Renee Hoyos, the network's executive director. "We will be keeping tabs. It will be interesting to see what TDEC does as far as enforcement, but of course we can't know that until we know what happened at the plant."

 

You can read the full article  here.

 

 

April 6, 2011

Knoxville News Sentinel

NATIONAL COAL SUED OVER ZEB MOUNTAIN COMPLIANCE

 

Area environmental groups Tennessee Clean Water Network, Sierra Club, and Statewide Organizing for community eMpowerment have filed a federal lawsuit against National Coal Corp., accusing the company of refusing to comply with requirements to report discharges from its Zeb Mountain coal mine in Campbell County.

 

You can read the full article  here.

 

 

March 29, 2011

TNJN.com

KNOX COUNTY WATER STILL POLLUTED

 

KUB has taken recent steps to reverse the damage caused by their failing infrastructure, says Renee Hoyos, executive director of the Tennessee Clean Water Network.

 

"In 2003...[KUB] put 1.5 billion gallons of sewage into the Tennessee River. In July of that year, we filed a 60-day notice to sue them under the Clean Water Act...for fouling the Tennessee River and its tributaries...[They've] had ten years to clean up everything. It went fromm 1.5 billion gallons in 2003 to 20,000 gallons in 2005. Knoxvillians can be pretty confident that...E. coli from the system is a thing of the past as long as [KUB] keeps its maintenance up."

 

You can read the full article  here.

 

 

 

March 24, 2011

WATE (Knoxville) 

EPA CLEANING UP HAZARDOUS WASTE IN SOUTH KNOX COUNTY

 

The Environmental Protection Agency has begun clean-up of the Vestal community in South Knox County. The land was used for decades as an illegal dumping site for local industrial firms like the Smokey Mountain Smelters (since disbanded), and has documented stockpiling of hazardous waste and chemicals. The 13-acre site is now under EPA jurisdiction, and has been called a superfund site because of its uncontrolled hazardous waste.

 

You can read the full article  here.

 

 

 

March 15, 2011

Clean Water Network

CWN HOLDS SUCCESSFUL CAPITOL HILL BRIEFING ON MARCH 15TH -- THE MISSISSIPPI RIVER: THE RIVER LEFT BEHIND

 

The Clean Water Network's Capitol Hill briefing explored pollution problems and solutions in the Mississippi River Basin. The March 15th briefing took place in Room 122 of the Cannon House Office Building. The briefing focused on why the Mississippi River Basin lags behind in funding and resources compared to other Great Waters in the United States.

 

Renee Hoyos discussed how the Mississippi River's pollution problems are playing out on the ground in Tennessee and highlighted some efforts on the part of the federal government and the staes to deal with this issue.

 

You can read her remarks and the full briefing  here.

 

 

 

 

March 14, 2011

Knoxville News Sentinel

GROUP CHALLENGES TVA'S OPERATION OF 'ASH ISLAND': ISLAND MADE OF COAL ASH IS A 'DISASTER WAITING TO HAPPEN'

 

TVA has never invested in effective pollution controls at its Johnsonville Fossil Plant, and now clean water and energy activists are challenging a water permit that allows the plant to dump over 20 million gallons of contaminated water per day into Kentucky Lake.

 

"It's time for TVA to decide whether it will modernize or cling to old practices," said Josh Galperin of Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, which is appealing the permit along with Tennessee Clean Water Network. 

 

You can read the full article  here.

 

Or you can read Democratic Underground's take on the story  here.

 

 

 

March 2, 2011

Knoxville News Sentinel

CLEARING BLAMED FOR MUDDY MESS

 

On the same day that a muddy wave of trees and debris flooded downhill into Bill and Selma Crain's backyard, the Knox County Commission postponed a vote on proposed hillside-development regulations for two months. The Knoxville Knox County Hillside and Ridgetop Protection Plan offers concessions to developers as well as giudelines for dealing with water quality, erosion, and flood issues.  on land so that what happened to the Crains doesn't happen to everyone.

 

"The whole point of planning is that it can prevent [disasters]" like what happened to the Crains, said Renee Hoyos, TCWN executive director.

 

You can read the full article  here.

 

 

 

February 5, 2011

Knoxville News Sentinel

RULING LIMITS WATER RUNOFF

 

U.S. District Judge Thomas Phillips entered a consent decree this week resolving a citizen suit brought by the watchdog Tennessee Clean Water Network against local developer David Trantanella. The lawsuit alleged that Trantanella has been in violation of the Clean Water Act for the past five years by discharging excessively muddy water from the Casa Bella subdivision in East Knox County.

 

The consent decree imposed an average daily limit of 280 Nephelometric Turbidity Units (NTU) on runoff water from the site.

 

You can read the full article  here.

 

 

 

January 31, 2011

Powell Shopper-News (Knoxville)

BURCHETT MEETS WITH CRITICS OF STORMWATER POLICY

 

TCWN executive director Renee Hoyos and attorney Stephanie Matheny meet with Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett and Shanondale farmer James McMillan to discuss Knox County stormwater enforcement issues. The McMillans are demanding an apology for a Notice of Violation recently issued against them. T-Mobile had contracted to build on their land, but the grading contractor for the project failed to properly install a legally required silt fence. Instead of issuing the Notice of Violation against the permit holder or the contractor, Knox County issued the citation against the McMillans, who had no control over the matter.

 

Other issues discussed included stormwater enforcement issues and prioritizing sites - not just going after "Mom & Pop" sites (small, privately owned plots).

 

You can read the full article  here.

 

 

January 7, 2011

The Memphis Commercial Appeal

CHEMIST PREACHES GREEN; UPCHURCH TURNS FOCUS TO ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION

 

Former TCWN board member Sandra Upchurch is on a mission to revitilize the way we teach chemistry in the classroom. Fifteen years ago, Upchurch became director of an industrial chemistry program in Memphis City Schools aimed at bringing in industrial chemists to act as substitute teachers in the hopes that they inspire young students. Though the program was eventually closed, Upchurch work with students continues. Upchurch's work could be the catalyst for bringing minority students into the field, and for inspiring an eco-friendly approach to chemistry.

 

You can read the full article  here.

 

 

 

 

2010

December 30, 2010

Knoxville News Sentinel

RUNOFF REGULATORS PAY THE PRICE TWICE

 

The national economic slump was, in a way, a good thing for stormwater regulators. During the years of a housing boom, they figuratively were just trying to keep their heads about water. But now, the same economic downturn that is giving them breathing room is creating a new problem - a record number of foreclosed building sites.

 

"In the boom years, no one was willing to say 'no' to development," said Renee Hoyos, executive director of the water-quality advocacy group Tennessee Clean Water Network. "It is funny that we refused to be moderate in teh beginning, because now, we are paying for it. They (officials) wanted the tax revenue, but now these sites are costing them."

 

You can read the full article  here.

 

 

December 30, 2010

Knoxville News Sentinel

STRINGENT RULES ON COAL ASH CAST INTO DOUBT

 

An Obama administration pledge to regulate potentially toxic ash from coal-fired power plants may be developed or scrapped altogether if the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency bases its cost-benefit analysis on data that were seriously flawed, environmental groups said Wednesday.

 

You can read the full article  here.

 

 

December 30, 2010

Knoxville News Sentinel

HEARING SOUGHT ON OAK RIDGE BURNING

 

Utah-based Energy-Solutions, which opposed the extension of a deadline for public comment on the company's application to import up to 1,000 tons of radioactive waste from German hospitals and universities, wants to burn the low-level radioactive waste at its Oak Ridge plant on Bear Creek Road and then return the ashes to Germany for disposal.

 

You can read the full article  here.

 

 

December 28, 2010

Knoxville News Sentinel

WHITE OAK DAM FORTIFIED

 

Ask anyone involved in managing stormwater runoff to cite their biggest problem, and the answer is universal - enforcement. Stormwater runoff is a serious business, though many people may not be fully aware of it.

 

"[Stormwater] transports chemicals, it kills aquatic life, it causes flooding, it damages private property," said Renee Hoyos, executive director of the Tennessee Clean Water Network.

 

You can read the full article  here.

 

 

December 28, 2010

Knoxville News Sentinel

STORM WATER RUNOFF A HUGE PROBLEM, BUT ENFORCEMENT LACKING

 

Department of Energy contractors are wrapping up a four-month $3.7 million project to widen and strengthen White Oak Dam, which confines radioactively contaminated White Oak Lake, to make sure the earthern-and-rock dam can withstand extreme weather events.

 

You can read the full article  here.

 

 

 

 

 

October 19, 2010

Tennessee Journalist (TNJN)

UT PRESS AND TCWN HOST ENVIRONMENTAL FILM FESTIVAL

 

TCWN co-hosts the 3rd Annual Wild and Scenic Film Festival, to be held at 7pm, October 19 and 21, at the Knoxville Museum of Art. This year's films includ Big River and Ghost Birds, whose plots address the issues of bioengineering, wilderness conservation, and water quality. There will be a book signing by Nancy Tanner (wife of Jim Tanner) and Lyn Bales, author of Ghost Birds: Jim Tanner and the Quest for the Ivory-billed Woodpecker, Thursday night.

 

You can read the full article  here.

 

 

 

September 15-16, 2010

Clean Water Network

 

CWN REGIONAL CAUCUS ON OIL, MINING AND GAS WATER POLLUTION A HUGE SUCCESS

 

CWN's recent regional caucus on Oil, Mining and Gas Water Pollution in the Lower Mississippi River Basin was a huge success. The event, held in Little Rock, AR, was attended by more than 45 clean water activists from around the country including Hank Graddy, Sierra Club Mississippi River Basin Issue Team, and Renee Hoyos, TN Clean Water Network.

 

You can read a briefing and see pictures from the event  here.

 

 

 

 

 

July 8, 2010

Rooted in the Earth: a blog by Dianne Glave

GETTING TO KNOW THE TENNESSEE CLEAN WATER NETWORK

 

TCWN exective director, Renee Hoyos, visited Fredonia, TN, in response to community members' request for help. The newly-approved TVA Megasite puts many of Fredonia community's landowners at risk of losing their homes and property to the project. Nobody in the community has been contacted about land acquisition, and their views on the project have not been elicited.

 

You can read the full post  here.

 

 

 

May 19, 2010 

Knoxville News Sentinel

UT CITED WITH TWO VIOLATIONS OF STATE WATER POLLUTION STANDARDS

 

The University of Tennessee has violated state water pollution control standards on two separate occasions during construction of the new sorority houses located off Neyland Drive. The violations on Dec. 21 and May 13 were for polluting Fort Loudoun Lake with sediment and runoff from the construction site. TCWN director Renee Hoyos brought the issue up at Tuesday's Knoxville City Council meeting. Hoyos sought Mayor Bill Haslam's help, but Haslam said that, while he will check into the problem, state authority trumps city authority in this matter.

 

You can read the full article  here.

 

 

April 21, 2010

Metropulse (Knoxville)

EAST TENNESSEE VS. EARTH: GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT

 

As environmentalists see it, there are two basic agents of destructive development: those who do it, and those who are supposed to stop it. The Clean Water Network last week released a report analyzing TDEC's enforcement actions for water violations, which found that, while 73 percent of those actions were against developers, 62 percent of them were for minor permit problems - paperwork, in other words. Of violations that led to fines, 65 percent were for $2,000 or less. In Hoyo's view, the state makes it too easy and cheap for developers to pollute.

 

You can read the full article  here.

 

 

April 15, 2010

Knoxville News Sentinel

TDEC REPORT CRITICIZES WATER QUALITY ENFORCEMENT

 

A new report on the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation calls for a tougher enforcement of major violators. The report from the Tennessee Clean Water Network was created through an analysis of 2008 enforcement actions listed on TDEC's website.

 

"We think that it is important for the public to understand how water protection works in the state, or rather, how it doesn't work," said Renee Hoyos, executive director of the Tennessee Clean Water Network in Knoxville, TN.

 

You can read the full article  here.

 

 

 

April 15, 2010

WBIR (Knoxville)

TN ENVIRONMENTAL REGULATORS GET HIT FROM BOTH SIDES

 

Several Republican candidates have been saying they will get Tennessee's environmental regulatory agency off the backs of businesses and farmers, but Tennessee Clean Water Network's executive director Renee Hoyos strongly opposes this political strategy.

 

"When they're not making polluters pay, we pay," she said. "We end up paying more to clean our drinking water and wastewater. Some people have to get flood insurance because the water flow is messed up above them. Plus you're paying your taxes. Poeple are paying repeatedly."

 

You can read the full article  here.

 

 

April 13, 2010

News Channel 5

NEW REPORT BLASTS STATE ENVIRONMENTAL AGENCY

 

It's the state agency that's supposed to protect the environment and punish polluters...but a new report obtained by NewsChannel 5 Investigates raises questions about whether the [Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC)] does enough to protect Tennessee's rivers and streams.

 

"I don't think there's a lot of will to enforce," said Renee Hoyos, executive director of the Tennessee Clean Water Network.

 

You can read the full article  here.

 

 

March 24, 2010

Metropulse (Knoxville)

COAL ASH FEARS RESURFACE WITH PROPOSED LANDFILL NEAR BIG SOUTH FORK

 

Residents of Scott County and environmental groups across the state are voicing opposition to an application to build a 24-acre landfill upstream from the Big South Fork Recreation Area, a unit of the Naitonal Park Service. Renee Hoyos, executive director of the Tennessee Clean Water Network, says she would like to see more stringent guidelines placed on what the landfill can discharge and what it is required to monitor. Hoyos also wonders about the ability of the Oneida Wastewater Treatment plant to deal with leachate from the landfill.

 

You can read the full article  here.

 

 

 

March 3, 2010

Knoxville News Sentinel

EPA TO CLEAN UP ABANDONED ALUMINUM SMELTER IN VESTAL

 

Smokey Mountain Smelters on Maryville Pike is one of eight polluted properties nationwide to be nominated for the National Priorities List, the EPA announced Tuesday. The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation referred the site to the EPA for inclusion on the list.

 

You can read the full article  here.

 

 

 

February 3, 2010

Knoxville News Sentinel

GUEST COLUMN: WATER-RIGHTS BATTLE LOOMS

 

The Howard Baker Jr. Center is hosting author, scientist, and activist Maude Barlow tonight. Barlow will talk about the issue of water privitization. As many as 36 states could be dealing with a water crisis as soon as 5 years from now. In her book Blue Covenant: The Global Water Crisis and the Coming Battle for the Right to Water, Barlow calls for nations to "define the world's fresh water as a human right and a public trust rather than a commercial product."

 

Barlow is also a senior advisor on water to the United Nations.

 

You can read the full article  here.

 

 

January 25, 2010

Knoxville News Sentinel

N.C. SEEKS INPUT FROM COCKE RESIDENTS ON PERMIT TO DUMP IN PIGEON RIVER

 

North Carolina environmental officials will make the trek across the mountains tonight to get input from East Tennesseans about a new permit for a paper mill in Canton, NC, that has been the source of controversy for more than a quarter century.

 

You can read the full article  here.

 

 

 

 

2009

 

December 17, 2009

Memphis Flyer

MURKY WATERS: CITY PLANT DISCHARGES SEWAGE INTO LOCAL RIVERS AND STREAMS; ENVIRONMENTAL GROUP THREATENS LAWSUIT

 

Memphis's Maynard C. Stiles Waste Treatment Plant has reported a staggering 1,170 overflows from January 2005 to September 2009, in which 23 million gallons of raw sewage was leaked into streets, yards, and ultimately the Mississippi River. That number doesn't even include the April 2008 leak that dumped 45 million more gallons within a 25-day period.

 

TCWN filed notice of our intent to sue the city, which was clearly in violation of the Clean Water Act. The leaked sewage contained traces of all sorts of pollutants, notably E. coli, intestinal worms, parasitic organisms, and inhaled molds and fungi. Phosphorus, which has seeped into the water system from household cleaning products, has created a soapy foam on the surface of the Mississippi.

 

"Soap companies add phosphorus to make [their products] foamy, but when discharged into the Mississippi River, it's contributing to the dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico," said TCWN executive director Renee Hoyos.

 

You can read the full article (in all its disgusting detail)  here.

 

 

 

September 21, 2009

Knoxville News Sentinel

LEGISLATION'S SPONSOR SAYS ENVIRONMENTALISTS MISUNDERSTAND MOTIVE

 

Environmentalists contend legislation pushed by state Rep. Joe McCord would drastically undermine citizen's rights to fight pollution in court, but the lawmaker says they completely misunderstand his plans. As drafted, the proposal would protect anyone holding a state permit from being legally declared a "nuisance" for activity conducted in accord with terms of the permit. It is scheduled for a study committee hearing this week.

 

You can read the full article  here.

 

 

September 14, 2009

Nashville City Paper

POLLUTION LEGISLTAION RILES ENVIRONMENTALISTS

 

Environmentalists are gearing up to fight state legislation that could curtail court claims for compensation against polluters in Tennessee.

 

In a press release today, the Tennessee Clean Water Network called it "one of the most destructive bills to emerge during this year's legislative session." It would exempt companies operating with state permits from the nuisance claims of neighboring property owners.

 

You can read the full article  here.

 

 

August-October, 2009

Knoxville News Sentinel

CLEAN-WATER GROUP PURSUES DEVELOPERS

 

August 5 - TCWN is renewing their attempts to hold liable developers Victor Jernigan and Jeff McBride for repeated stormwater run-off violations from a nearly 100-acre subdivision project in northeast Knox County. TDEC officials issued a Director's Order against both Jernigan's and McBride's companies, and levied a $15,000 civil penalty. Jernigan and McBride are appealing the fine.

 

August 22 - Vicotr Jernigan is threatening to file his own lawsuit against TCWN, claiming TCWN director Renee Hoyos falsely named him the developer "on projects where he is not." Though he is the developer on the main project in question, The Legends at Washington Pike.

 

October 17 - TCWN files a lawsuit against numerous developers and contractors tied to a 100-acre development project in northeast Knox County. TCWN claim multiple violations against the naitonal Clean Water Act. Victor Jernigan's participation and legal liabilities in regards to the lawsuit are still in question.

 

You can read the first article  here, the second article  here, and the third article  here.

 

 

 

 

2008

October 6, 2008

Knox News Sentinel

SOMETIMES FATHER REALLY DOES KNOW BEST

 

Growing up in Napa, Calif., Renee Victoria Hoyos didn't realize the importance of a college education. Luckly, her father did.

 

Hoyos, the executive director of the Tennessee Clean Water Network, credits her father, Jose Slores Hoyos, for the wake-up call...Hoyos became executive director of the Tennessee Clean Water Network - a watchdog organization that protects water resources in the state - in 2003.

 

"We spend a lot of time watching (the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation) and the permits they are putting out there. We help communities who have threats to their clean water. We want to protect them as much as we can."

 

You can read the full article  here.

 

 

 

July 27, 2008

Knoxville News Sentinel

QUICK QUESTIONS: RENNEE VICTORIA HOYOS

 

Find out a little bit more about our executive director, Renee Hoyos, as she answers some personal questions posed by reporter Amy McRay.

 

Q: You're moving to a deserted island and can take two things with you. What do you pack?

A: Gin and tonic.

 

You can read the full article  here.

 

 

April 5, 2008

Knoxville News Sentinel

HOYOS: BILL JEOPARDIZES 30,000 MILES OF STATE'S STREAMS

 

TCWN executive director Renee Hoyos comments on the Limited Resource Waters Bill (HB4185/SB4119), sponsored by Rep. Joe McCord and Sen. Steve Southerland, currently being considered in the state legislature. The bill (on committee calendars for both Houses next week) removes protection from an estimated 30,000 miles of streams statewide.

 

You can read the full article  here.

 

 

February 1, 2008

Knoxville News Sentinel

FILM FESTIVAL IS FOCUSED ON CLEAN WATER

 

TCWN received a grant from clothing manufacturer Patagonia to host the Wild and Scenic Environmental Film Festival this Saturday at the Knoxville Museum of Art. The festival will feature 10 short films during the three-hour program, including "Fish and Cow," "I Love Mountains," "Bugs of the Underworld," and "This Pretty Planet."

 

"We want to share the magic of the film festival with a wider community of activists," said Susie Sutphin, festival tour manager. She said "five extremely successful festivals" were held in California, and the film festival is now on a national tour.

 

You can read the full article  here.

 

Tennessee Clean Water Network

625 Market St.

Knoxville, TN 37902

 

Mailing Address:

PO BOX 1521

Knoxville, TN 37902

 

Office: 865.522.7007

Fax: 865.525.4988