Two new developments in recent days have put the DeKalb Utility District closer to building its own water treatment plant.
First, the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation has found that the proposed DUD water treatment plant will not significantly affect the environment. The public has until April 28 to make comments before a final decision is reached to proceed. Secondly, although the City of Smithville had no plans to do so, the deadline has now passed for the municipality to appeal a recent court decision that went in favor of the DUD, clearing the way for the water plant to be built.
(CLICK BOTH PDF LINKS BELOW TO READ TDEC WEBSITE PUBLIC NOTICE AND TO VIEW AREA COVERAGE MAP)
Chancellor Ellen Hobbs Lyle, on February 25, dismissed a petition for a judicial review by DUD ratepayers and the City of Smithville who were seeking to overturn a decision by the Utility Management Review Board, who last April ruled against the petitioners in their quest to halt DUD's plans for construction of a water plant. In her ruling, Chancellor Lyle affirmed the UMRB decision.
Regarding the environmental impact of the proposed DUD water treatment plant, the National Environmental Policy Act requires federally designated agencies to determine whether a proposed major agency action will significantly affect the environment. One such major action, defined by the Safe Drinking Water Act, is the approval of a facilities plan. In making this determination, the State Revolving Fund Loan Program assumes that all facilities and actions recommended by the plan will be implemented. The State's analysis concludes that implementing the plan (in this case) will not significantly affect the environment; accordingly, the State Revolving Fund Loan Program is issuing this Finding of No Significant Impact (FNSI) for public review.
According to the public notice, which WJLE obtained on the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation website, "The DeKalb Utility District has completed the facilities plan entitled “2013 Water System Improvements, Proposed Water Treatment and Distribution Improvements”, dated December 2013. The facilities plan provides recommendations to construct a new water treatment plant and upgrade the existing water treatment system serving the DeKalb Utility District (DeKalb, Cannon, Smith, and Wilson Counties), Tennessee."
"This project will consist of a new raw water intake structure and raw water pump station on the Holmes Creek Embayment of Center Hill Reservoir (Caney Fork River); an 18-inch diameter raw water transmission line from the raw water pump station to the new 2.0 million gallon per day water treatment plant located along Holmes Creek Road; an 18-inch diameter finished water transmission line along Holmes Creek Road, Allen’s Ferry Road, and U.S. Highway 70; and new 8-inch diameter water distribution lines along Big Rock Road, Dry Creek Road, Game Ridge Road, Turner Road, Tittsworth Road, and Walker Lane. A finished water pumping station will be constructed to deliver water from the Snow’s Hill Water Tank to the Short Mountain Water Tank."
"The new 2.0 million gallon water treatment plant will include clarification, mixed media filtration and backwash systems, and a 250,000 gallon clear well. The total estimated project cost is $12,000,000. The DeKalb Utility District has applied for two Drinking Water State Revolving Fund loans totaling $5,250,000 to fund this project. The first loan is for $2,500,000 with a $2,000,000 loan and $500,000 in principle forgiveness that will not have to be repaid by the DeKalb Utility District. The second DWSRF loan is for $2,750,000. Additional funding includes a Rural Utilities Service loan for $5,000,000, a Rural Utilities Service grant for $1,250,000, and an Appalachian Regional Commission grant for $500,000"
Comments supporting or disagreeing with this proposed action received within 30 days of the date of this FINDING OF NO SIGNIFICANT IMPACT (March 28) will be evaluated before a final decision is made to proceed. The public comment period ends April 28th, 2014
If you wish to comment or to challenge this FNSI, send your written comment(s) to:
Mr. Sam R. Gaddipati, Environmental Manager
State Revolving Fund Loan Program
Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation
William R. Snodgrass Tennessee Tower
312 Rosa L. Parks Avenue, 12th Floor
Nashville, Tennessee 37243
or call or e-mail (615) 532-0462 or firstname.lastname@example.org.