Monday, March 03, 2008

Clean Water is Your Right, But...

You can't expect other people to protect it for you. You have to get involved. The good news is that it is really easy to pick up the phone and call the office of your Representatives and Senators. Try it. The people who answer the phone are usually very nice. You can be short and sweet in telling them why you called and which Bill you support or oppose.

Here's the item currently very high on my radar:

TCWN wants you to Call your Senator!

The State Senate Committee is in high gear. The bills TCWN are watching
are on the Senate Environment Committee's agenda for Wednesday.

Please call or email your Senator and Senator Kilby (Chair) about the
following bills.

The committee meets at 12 pm CST. Please contact your
senator before 12 pm CST Wednesday (contact information below).

Senate Environment, Conservation & Tourism Committee -- Wednesday
at 12:00 pm CST -- LP 12

The committee will receive a budget presentation from Gary Myers, Executive Director, Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency. Items 1-7 are Water Quality bills. MEMBERS: Chair Kilby (D), Vice Chair Bunch (R), Secretary Jackson (D), R. Finney (R), Herron (D), Ketron (R), Roller (D), Southerland (R), M. Williams (I).

SB 3646 Ketron (sponsor): Permits for alteration of aquatic resources. This is one of TCWN’s bills, we will be speaking on it. Aka the Green Design Bill. We want a yay vote on this. Allows tax incentives, fee waivers and expedited processing of applications for permits for the alteration of aquatic resources. Provides requirements for specific projects to receive incentives, waivers and expedited permitting.

SB 3651 Ketron (sponsor): Stop work order for violations of Water Quality Control Act. This is one of TCWN’s bills, we will be speaking on it. We want a yay vote on this. Allows the commissioner of the department of environment and conservation to issue stop work orders for violations of the Water Quality Control Act or for activities that threaten public safety. Specifies that person who violates stop work order is subject to a civil penalty of no less than $25,000 plus the cost of remediation or other compensation for loss of public trust resources to the state.

SB 4119 Southerland (sponsor): Defines limited resource waters. THIS IS THE BAD BILL. IT WILL REMOVE PROTECTION FROM 30,000 MILES OF STREAM. WE NEED PEOPLE TO CALL THE COMMITTEE AND TELL THEM YOU ARE AGAINST THIS BILL. Defines "limited resource waters" as ephemeral bodies of water that flow primarily in response to rainfall, for which groundwater is not a significant source, and that do not support a significant indigenous population of native fish or aquatic life under the Water Quality Control Act.

SB 2979 Southerland (sponsor): Testing water quality of Pigeon River. Yay votes expected. This bill moves the testing point. TDEC’s position is that they already do this and don't need it codified, but the community wants it in law. Specifies equirements for drawing samples to test water quality of Pigeon River where it enters Tennessee from Haywood County, North Carolina. SB 3621 Bunch: Groundwater quality. The department does not need the clear and convincing criteria. That's usually for criminal offenses. Renee Hoyos has alerted the GroundWater Institute in Memphis. Requires department of environment and conservation to provide clear and convincing evidence to the board that any
water that is the subject of a complaint is water that will affect groundwater

Senator Tommy Kilby, Chair
Phone (615)
Fax (615) 253-0237

Senator Bunch
(615) 741-3730
Staff Contact: Tonya Morelock
Fax (615) 253-0243

Senator Doug
Phone (615) 741-4499
Fax (615) 741-8745

Senator Raymond
Phone: (615) 741-2427

Senator Roy
Phone (615) 741-4576
Fax (615) 253-0161

Senator Bill Ketron
(615) 741-6853
Fax (615) 741-7200

Senator Steve
Phone (615) 741-6694

Senator Steve
Phone (615) 741-3851
Fax (615) 741-7200

Senator Mike
Phone (615) 741-2061
Fax (615) 253-0286

Conservation and Tourism10A Legislative PlazaPhone (615) 741-6955

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