New withdrawal limits help protect one of the nation’s most endangered rivers

Three tubers enjoy Tennessee's Harpeth River, which received greater protections this week after being named one of the ten most endangdered rivers in the country. (© Judi Heumann)

With input from SELC and Harpeth River Watershed Association (HRWA), the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) announced more stringent restrictions on the City of Franklin’s permit to withdraw water from the Harpeth River, a state scenic river named this year as one of the nation’s most endangered.

SELC and HRWA collaborated with TDEC and the City of Franklin to achieve key changes to the water permit, such as additional withdrawal conditions, monthly reporting of Franklin’s water withdrawals, and biological monitoring below and above the water intake.

As a result of our advocacy and participation in the multi-stakeholder process, TDEC is now funding continued scientific work to establish low-flow thresholds for the river. The withdrawal permit will be re-evaluated based on this new information, enabling better science-based decisions that will protect the Harpeth River now and into the future.

“As stakeholders in these critical Harpeth River investigations, we are pleased that TDEC has issued a permit that will incorporate site-specific data as soon as it is available and will lead to healthier river conditions," said Annie Passino, Staff Attorney in SELC’s Nashville Office. "We are hopeful water withdrawals from the river will be conservative as we continue to collect better data on how to best protect the Harpeth."

Additional coverage:

Long-awaited Harpeth River water withdrawal permit issued” from The Tennessean.

TDEC sets new guidelines for Harpeth River water withdrawal” from the Franklin Home Page.

More News

South must play a key role in addressing climate change, biodiversity crises

President Joe Biden has taken early steps to show how seriously he is taking the threat posed by climate change — from rejoining the Paris Agreem...

Brenda Mallory confirmed as Chair of White House Council on Environmental Quality

Brenda Mallory, SELC’s director of regulatory policy, has been confirmed by the United States Senate to lead the White House Council on Environme...

Final hearing on NEPA changes headed to court this month

SELC is preparing for a federal showdown on April 21 to determine the fate of the Trump administration’s gutting of the National Environmental Po...

How we’re working to ensure a safer Cape Fear River basin for N.C. communities

An agreement by state regulators with the City of Greensboro allows increased discharges of cancer-causing 1,4-dioxane into the drinking water so...

Historic rail deal finalized in Virginia

The Commonwealth of Virginia, CSX, Amtrak, and Virginia Railway Express have finalized a groundbreaking deal that marks a major milestone for cle...

Congressional bill helps communities facing environmental injustice

A bill to advance environmental justice was introduced in Congress earlier this month by U.S. Reps. Raúl Grijalva, Donald McEachin and U.S. Sen....

More Stories