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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
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?

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