Richland Creek Watershed Alliance blog

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Thursday, July 15, 2010

The Public Meeting Prompts Redesign by Rogers Group and More News Coverage

See the WZTV FOX 17 :: Newsroom - Top Stories - video coverage about last night's public meeting.

The project proposal by Rogers Group's quarry to get back to business since the May 2010 flood was redesigned and presented by thier executives and consultants last night.

The previous proposal had been changed significantly from their initial submission, moved to save 269 more linear feet of existing stream.

The positive strides RCWA accomplished reflects the public's attention and the dedication by many volunteers working together towards a better scenario for the stream, Richland Creek. The results are the accomplishments.

1. Army Corps of Engineers extends pubic comment period

2. County leaders sponsor a public meeting for review of Rogers Group's Plan

3. Rogers Group redesigns their initial project proposal plan

4. The Richland Creek Watershed Alliance gets an opportunity to present their restoration proposal to the public, applicant and regulatory planners.


Main points

1. A more southerly reconnection and natural restoration to preserve more aquatic life and habitat- to bypass less of the existing stream channel.

2. Restoration of the floodplain to improve water quality, create more diverse habitat and flood defense.

3) A Conservation Trust for the entire area of focus and to restore recreational uses.

The WZTV Fox 17 coverage (link above) of the meeting reflects the chatter of about 200 in attendance (head count), four government agencies, five County leaders and several Rogers Group executives and lawyers.

In addition to a substantial public showing there were also leaders from several environmental and neighborhood organizations present. The unity around stream preservation and sustainability is what will make a difference. The Alliance is very proud and grateful to all that were in attendance and who contributed. There were seven committee volunteers but there were also many others that contacted RCWA with support and ideas. It was a collective effort- a watershed community at work for their stream!

Here is a link to an article in yesterday's Tennessean (Anne Paine) that has a link to the Rogers Group second, latest proposal - New plan proposed for moving Richland Creek around quarry.

If you feel our work is worthy, consider joining the Richland Creek Watershed Alliance by submitting an annual membership of $15.
Address: RCWA P.O. Box 92016 Nashville, TN 37209
Website: www.richlandcreekwatershedalliance.org.
Email: rcwa@comcast.net

What did you think about the public meeting? Comment or react below.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Richland Creek Restoration Proposal at REOstone Quarry- Public Meeting Tonight

To review Rogers Group new and amended Proposal to re-route the stream and see the RCWA Alternative Presentation - attend the Public Meeting tonight, July 14th, 6:30- 8 PM
Cohn School Library, 4805 Park Avenue.
(Birdsye View of Quarry - courtesy of BING)
Sponsors for the meeting are:
Senator Henry Douglas, Representative Gary Odom, Councillady Emily Evans, Councilman Jason Holleman and Councilman Buddy Baker.

Regulators present to take questions and comments:
Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, Corps of Engineers, Metro Water.

Permit Applicant:
Rogers Group Incorporated

In reference to:
USACE Public Notice #10-17A

Today, July 14th, is last day for the public to comment or inquire on this permit application.

The community will have the opportunity to view all the information presented at the public meeting and ask pertinent questions to the regulators (TDEC, USACE) who approve the permit.
For your comment to be counted in the public comment record it must pertain to the permit request.

See you tonight.
Richland Creek Watershed Alliance
P.O. Box 92016 Nashville, TN 37209
www.richlandcreekwatershedalliance.org
rcwa@comcst.net

If you feel our work worthy please consider joining RCWA with a $15 annual membership fee.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

A Community Meeting Will be Held for Quarry Stream Project Proposal

On July 14th a community meeting on the Rogers Group's design proposal to relocate Richland Creek is set, and will be hosted by our County leaders: Senator Douglas Henry, Representative Gary Odom, Councillady Emily Evans, Councilman Jason Holleman and Councilman Buddy Baker.

PUBLIC MEETING July 14th, 6:30 p.m.
Cohn School Library
4805 Park Avenue (behind Richland Branch Libary)

The meeting begins with a thirty-minute open house, where the community can mingle and review the consultants' designs. This will be followed by a time for the community to make comments or ask questions to the regulatory agencies involved and applicant, who will also be present (US Army Corps of Engineers, Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, Metro Water, and Rogers Group Incorporated, the applicant).

The Richland Creek Watershed Alliance is also going to present their vision for the stream restoration project. The RCWA committee has been working tirelessly to first bring more attention to this project, review the information and make field assessments of the stream and damage.
Our objective has been to achieve the best outcome possible for Richland Creek and the aquatic life it supports. We are looking for a restoration project which would preserve the aquatic life already there, improve water quality, restore and enhance habitat and better support it's classification for recreational use. A good restoration project would enhance community activities such as fishing, paddling, bird and wildlife watching, while simultanously improving the environmental impacts. Everytime I go to this reach of Richland Creek I see mutiple kinds of herons (blue, green, night) and plenty of aquatic life, and think, "if we put our minds on de-listing this area off of the EPA's 303d impaired list, all would benefit." Now, is that opportunity.

The community is urged to attend to learn more and chime in.
July 14th is the last day to make or send your important comment to: Nashville District Corps of Engineers Regulatory Branch (Attention Scott Fanning), 3701 Bell Road, Nashville, Tennessee 37214, or email Scott.Fanning@usace.army.mil.
Public Notice 10-17 (Proposed Stream Relocaton of Richland Creek Associated with the Activities of the Rogers Group, REOstone Quarry, Cockrill Bend, Nashville).

How did we get here?
After the Public Notice was released and enough of the community took the time to make comments to the US Army Corp, the planners and regulators realized that the community was interested and had concerns. The Public Comment was extended by the Corps from June 29 to July 14th.
RCWA was then invited to and attended a private meeting hosted by Director of Water Pollution Control, Paul Davis, of the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) last Wedesday, which lasted two hours. This planned small meeting grew quickly because this project involveed so many governmental agencies (TDEC, Metro Water, US Army Corps of Engineers, Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency, Harpeth River Watershed Association, Rogers Group and their two design consultant teams). I think everyone benefited from the meeting, RCWA certainly did and we believe Richland Creek will too.

The next day, Thursday three members of the RCWA committee attended the Stormwater Management Committee (SWMC) meeting which heard the variance request by the applicant for the project also. This meeting lasted over 3 hours. The SWMC approved the project but with many conditions, some which were pending assessments, a flood study and a review of where and how the sewer lines can be relocated. These assesments will determine the feasibility for Rogers Group proposal and determine the viablity of any other plan presented.

The stream relocation project must result with a "no rise" in the floodplain. The condition placed upon this proposal or any others is to ensure that upstream residents or locations in the vicinity will not be impacted to any higher degree from floods. This study is not completed yet but is predicted to be done by July 14th.

RCWA would like to thank all the stakeholders for submitting responses, the RCWA working committee volunteers, the regulators and the Council for hearing us and responding to our concern for a public review and the Rogers Group for taking time to review their proposal with the public.

Will you attend the public meeting?