BY SARAH R. GREGORY
The Greeneville Board of Mayor and Aldermen learned Tuesday that Greeneville needs to designate a Water Quality Advisory Committee in order to meet permitting requirements of the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC).
Greeneville Department of Public Works Director Brad Peters explained the requirement as part of reviewing the Town's annual stormwater report with the board during a public hearing on the report.
The hearing was conducted as part of the regular meeting of the Board of Mayor and Aldermen at the G. Thomas Love Board Room at the Greeneville Light & Poer System building.
Peters said the report was "a standard form" required by TDEC that includes various kinds of information from the Town, such as information about any federally-listed endangered species in the Town, local streams listed as "impaired" (polluted), and pollutant sources.
"Some of these things are not requirements; they just want us to report what we're doing," he said.
The TDEC form, he said, "asks if we've had any notice of violation, or fines, or anything like that."
Peters added that no notices of violations, fines, or stop-work orders have been issued in the past year in relation to the way Greeneville deals with stormwater.
"Our stormwater program did receive an audit this year," he said, "and there are some things that we are going to have to correct -- one of them being our stormwater ordinance."
Some new TDEC permitting requirements, he said, are not currently included in the Town's stormwater ordinance.
Peters said he was working on the updated requirement. He added that he would be submitting information that needs to go in the ordinance to Greeneville's attorney, Ron Woods, in the coming weeks.
Once the language in the ordinance is updated, the amended ordinance would need to be approved by the board on two readings before the changes could take effect.
Peters also said that, in order to meet new TDEC permitting requirements, he planned to ask the board to establish a Water Quality Advisory Committee.
"I would ask that Alderman [Sarah] Webster be placed on that committee, since she has been involved in stormwater and environmental issues ever since I've worked here," Peters said.
HAYDEN RECALLED FONDLY
Discussion at the public hearing then turned to other efforts in the community to improve water quality.
"The environmental community and the stormwater community lost a really good friend" with the recent death of Paul Hayden, Peters said.
"He had been kind of the driving force behind water quality activities since I've come to work for the Town. He worked for the [U.S.] Soil Conservation [Service] office, retired from there, then headed up the Middle Nolichucky Watershed Alliance (MNWA)," Peters told the board.
MNWA, Peters added, has served as the Town's "quasi-advisory board" concerning water quality for several years.
HELP FROM ALLIANCE?
City Administrator Todd Smith asked whether Greeneville's cooperation with MNWA would fulfill requirements by the state for a Water Quality Advisory Committee.
"Probably, if it were recognized by this board," Peters responded.
Mayor W.T. Daniels said that he had spoken with individuals active with the MNWA, and felt the organization had a desire to continue their work following Hayden's death.
"I'm for that," Daniels stated. "I think it's important we continue with that. You're right about Paul [Hayden]. He was very active in the watershed organization, and I think it's something -- that particular group -- they want to see it continue."
"A lot of people, I think, don't realize what that organization did and what Paul [Hayden] did," Peters said.
"If you go out to Ingles store on U.S. 11E, that pond -- he basically rebuilt it to where it actually works now.
"He did work out at Tusculum College. He helped build this raingarden in front of Town Hall."
Hayden, Peters said, was responsible for several projects that have proven "very beneficial to water quality in Greeneville, but probably didn't get a lot of notoriety."
'HELPED ENTIRE COUNTY'
Webster said that Hayden's work was beneficial to all of Greene County.
"It is a project that was not just for Greeneville -- it was for the whole of Greene County.
"But I do know that there was water quality testing in the Town of Greeneville," Webster said.
"Some of the information that was accumulated over time was very interesting," she added.
MNWA, Peters responded, conducts many of the water quality tests that TDEC requires of the Town.
"I hope they continue to do that. That's something that -- if not -- we're going to have to take a look at," Peters said.
SILTATION A PROBLEM
Webster mentioned that Greene County has numerous streams listed as "impaired."
"Siltation is a problem; it's all over the county," Webster said.
"We have a huge number of streams that have been listed as problem areas, and the majority of it is siltation," she said.
"The biggest contributor is agriculture [related to animal waste], and they're exempt, so it's just something you have to deal with," Peters said.
"Most of your siltation and e. coli -- most of it comes from agriculture, but no one wants to see agriculture go away," Peters said.
As the discussion at the public hearing concluded, Peters said that he would post the stormwater report on the Town's website ( http://www.greenevilletn.gov) so that the public may review it and ask any questions or make comments.
The same document was also made available to The Greeneville Sun and has been posted on the newspaper's website in the "Public Documents" section of http://www.GreenevilleSun.com, under the tab titled "Community."