Sunday, October 7, 2007

Hazardous Chemicals Threaten Harpeth River


Concerned environmental activists attended the TDEC Public Meeting on October 10 at Franklin City Hall to call for an effective clean up plan that removes the chemicals from the environment and protects the Harpeth River. Activists were encouraging TDEC to prevent the continued flow of hazardous chemicals into the Harpeth River and Liberty Creek.

Egyptian Lacquer Manufacturing Company, located next to Fort Granger, was identified in March as the source of hazardous chemicals, primarily acetone and toluene, spilling into the Harpeth near the Franklin Road bridge in downtown Franklin. Their company's consulting firm, TriAD, recently submitted a proposed Corrective Action Plan (CAP) to the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) for cleaning up the ongoing soil and groundwater contamination that was suspected as long ago as summer of 2006 and proven in January 2007.

This contamination migrates to the Harpeth River from pools of chemicals that are in the ground under the company's site that have accumulated from leaky pipes. The pipe leaks have been stopped, but the hazardous chemicals dissolved in the groundwater are continuing to flow toward the creek and river.

In the CAP, Egyptian Lacquer recommends allowing natural attenuation to remediate the dissolved-phase portion of the groundwater contaminant plume even though they have no idea of the amount of contamination or any idea how long this might last.

HRWA encourages you to tell TDEC not to approve this plan which will allow hazardous chemicals to continue leaking into the Harpeth indefinitely. Is this really the best for the surrounding community to allow an industrial polluter to continue polluting the Harpeth for the foreseeable future? Field studies by HRWA and TDEC show that the pollution is degrading the river. The proposal to "let nature takes it's course" could mean years of violations of state and federal water quality laws, continuation of illegal releases into the Harpeth, and continued aggravation to nearby residents.

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