Franklin—May 10, 2016
The City of Franklin and the conservation organization, Harpeth River Watershed Association (HRWA), have resolved their differences regarding the City’s operation of its Water Reclamation Facility, ending a 2014 federal Clean Water Act lawsuit filed by HRWA in which HRWA has been represented by the Southern Environmental Law Center (SELC). The parties are moving forward and are participating in a comprehensive study focusing on the entire the Harpeth River watershed, the first such study in the State of Tennessee. This study, led by the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC), will involve other stakeholders associated with the Harpeth River and will assess the health of and the risks to the Harpeth River and its tributaries. The study will document and establish a plan to ensure activities and priorities in the Harpeth River watershed are accounted for so the river will meet water quality standards.
“The agreement allows all parties to move forward in serving our vibrant community, focusing on this most important resource, the Harpeth River,” said City Administrator Eric Stuckey. “Franklin has always been a committed steward of the Harpeth River. The City will continue important initiatives as outlined in its 30-year Integrated Water Resource Plan (IWRP), the first of its kind in the State of Tennessee. We welcome partnerships and new efforts to continue protecting the river.”
“In addition to being a beloved place for our community, the State Scenic Harpeth River is one of the unique freshwater river systems in the Southeast,” said Dorie Bolze, executive director of HRWA. “We are glad to reach this agreement in regards to the Harpeth River, and we look forward to working with the City and many other partners on new solutions to safeguard the river’s health and clean water for everyone.”