Sediment from Matlock Bend Landfill continues to end up on Tennessee Highway 72.
Pat Hunter, chairwoman of the Loudon County Solid Waste Commission, made Loudon County Commission aware of the latest issue in the ongoing problem during the public comment period of a Feb. 21 workshop.
Hunter said Republic, which operates the landfill for the county, received a notice of violation Feb. 16 from the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation Division of Water Resources.
The state investigated after receiving a complaint concerning sediment on Hwy. 72 that discharged into a tributary of Watts Bar Reservoir, according to the notice.
Republic has been authorized to discharge stormwater associated with sanitary landfills and disposal activities under the Tennessee Multi-Sector Permit, but during an on-site visit, several violations and issues of noncompliance with the terms of TMSP and the Tennessee Water Quality Control Act of 1977 were observed.
“The insufficient treatment of stormwater has resulted in discharge of sediment off-site and into waters of the state,” according to the notice. “… The discharge of untreated stormwater into the unnamed tributary of Watts Bar Reservoir can impair the stream and its designated uses, including the support of fish and aquatic life, livestock and wildlife, recreation and irrigation.”
The notice requests Republic immediately establish an appropriate stream buffer and install erosion prevention and sediment control measures on the site. Republic representatives must also attend a compliance review meeting in March to outline a strategy to bring the property into compliance.
Included in the notice were several pictures of sediment runoff.
Hunter said TDEC has received numerous complains about dirt and mud on the road. She said she has been told by an employee of Republic that the matter will be addressed.
“The residents are very upset,” she said. “This is probably the worst I have ever seen. … It’s inexcusable. It’s against the contract that they signed, and they need to address it, and they have been put on notice to do that.”
Hunter, who is co-chair of the Loudon County Records Commission, also addressed county commissioners concerning a recent post Commissioner Van Shaver made on an online blog about the county’s new records storage building. Hunter said Shaver indicated the building will not be used for archives and historical records and not be open to the public.
She said she wondered what would happen to the 18 pallets of permanent, historical and archival records saved from a 2019 fire at Loudon County Courthouse.
Hunter said roughly 240 boxes will be coming back after being cleaned and wondered where they will be stored and how they will be accessible to the public.
Shaver responded that he doesn’t know what was sent for cleaning, adding when the records are returned they will go to the former bank building where county department heads will go through them to decide what should be kept and what is to be discarded.
He said county records have always been available by request, and he said he anticipates there will be a place for historical documents once the county finds out what it has.
No one is out to destroy records and is trying to preserve everything possible, Shaver said.
In an unrelated matter, Commissioner Rosemary Hines Quillen said an opinion from the county attorney was made available Nov. 8 to some commissioners relating to municipalities and annexation. She asked that going forward all county attorney opinions should go to all commissioners.
Commissioner William Jenkins said he also did not receive the information.
Commission Chairman Henry Cullen said he was unsure why all commissioners didn’t receive the opinion in question but will tell the county attorney to share with the whole commission in the future.