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Proposed Water Pollution Legislation Will Harm City’s Efforts to Protect Harpeth River

Needless Legislation Targeted at City of Franklin, TN

Post Date:03/08/2018 2:00 PM

Mayor Moore Talking to Reporters about Harpeth RiverFranklin- The Harpeth Conservancy’s proposed water pollution legislation is specifically and unjustifiably aimed at the City of Franklin and its rate payers.  In 2017, the City of Franklin wastewater treatment facility received a new discharge permit reducing the levels of nutrients the City can put into the Harpeth river by 60 percent.  The permit limits were developed by the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation over the course of many months with input from many stakeholders including the Harpeth Conservancy.  Despite propaganda to the contrary, the efforts of the City of Franklin and state regulators has been to have a permit and wastewater treatment operations that will continue to produce a high-quality discharge of water back into the Harpeth River now and in the future

The City also received funding through the State Revolving Fund of 100 million dollars in low interest loans that will save our ratepayers more than 30 million dollars over the course of the loan.  The loan will assist the city in upgrades and modernization of Franklin’s Wastewater Treatment Plant.  Multiple elements of these upgrades are specifically designed to improve the City’s ability to treat and reduce the nutrient levels in the discharge to the Harpeth River.  The proposed legislation will take that loan away from the City and would cost ratepayers more than $30 million in additional interest payments.

 “Franklin’s drive for high level stewardship of the Harpeth River is not a result of pressure from lawsuits or editorials in the newspaper.  It is part of the culture within the organization and is supported by professionals that have committed their careers to serving the community,” said Franklin Mayor Ken Moore.  “Meanwhile, the Harpeth Conservancy continues to play politics and try to delay a project that will benefit the river and the ratepayers and residents of Franklin, while the City does work to improve water quality and save our citizens millions of dollars,” continued Moore.  “Staff has truly worked to be a good partner with all community stakeholders including the Harpeth Conservancy, yet they continue to fight against the City and its citizens.  The City will continue our focus on protecting the river based on science and modeling of impact on the Harpeth River.  The truth is that Harpeth Conservancy is not a serious contributor to the important work of understanding and protecting the river.  This sort of cheap publicity stunt proves it.”

The City has long been a responsible steward of the Harpeth River.  A small sampling of these efforts includes:

  • Removal of the low-head dam
  • Various stream restoration projects
  • Development of constructed wetlands for water quality and flood control
  • Providing sanitary sewer service to over 600 homes with aging and failing septic systems
  • Identification and reporting of the illicit discharge by Egyptian Lacquer into the Harpeth River
  • Completion of an Integrated Water Resource Plan (IWRP), the first of its kind in the State of Tennessee.Franklin’s IWRP includes a holistic, long-term view of water, wastewater, reclaimed water and storm water needs within the community over the next 30 years, including extensive modeling of the Harpeth River.

 In February 2018, Harpeth Conservancy’s own consultant wrote “The Franklin (Publicly Owned Treatment Works) has been meeting very low effluent limits and we expect that the Franklin effluent represents a major resource for improving the assimilative capacity of the Harpeth River due to its contributions to the flow in the River of a well-treated effluent discharge to the Harpeth River.” 

 

 

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