Chapel Hill, Tenn. – A California-based mega-dairy is applying for a state permit in Tennessee to dump the waste from its proposed factory farm into Clem Creek and the Upper Duck River Watershed. Members of the Bedford County Chapter of Statewide Organizing for Community eMpowerment (SOCM) and their allies in the communities of Unionville, Rover, Chapel Hill, Lewisburg, and Shelbyville are opposed to the concentrated animal feeding operation (CAFO). They are asking the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) to deny Nash Dairy Company’s permit application.
Due to the large number of public comments submitted in the last month, TDEC’s Division of Water Resources is holding a public hearing on the issue on Tuesday, June 25th, at 6:00 p.m. CST, in the cafeteria of the Forrest School, at 310 North Horton Pkwy in Chapel Hill. SOCM members and their neighbors will be there to voice their concerns regarding the potential pollution of their drinking water (residents of Bedford, Marshall and Maury County get their drinking water from the Duck River). Residents support family farms, not animal factories, and they request that Nash move its proposed operation elsewhere.
“From experience I know that these kinds of dairies will lower the value of property for miles around the site,” says Wanda Campbell, a resident of Shelbyville and Co-Chair of SOCM’s Bedford County Chapter. “They cause air pollution that will be dangerous to our children. And in an area that is as wet as Middle Tennessee, the pollution of our drinking water is a major concern.”
The proposed CAFO would be located at 3983 Highway 41A North in Chapel Hill. The state permit is needed to authorize Nash’s operation of a sewerage system for the wastewater generated by a 1,800 head mega-dairy (1,500 wet cows and 300 dry cows), the overflow from which would be dumped into Clem Creek. Factory farms have a decades-long history of polluting water, air, and soil, decreasing property values, threatening human health, damaging roads, adversely affecting smaller family farms. Campbell urges citizens in the area to attend the upcoming public hearing, and “please help us stop this disaster for our communities and our environment.”
Affected residents are encouraged to comment on the permit. Written testimony will be accepted at the hearing and for 10 working days following the hearing, and will be considered part of the hearing record. Comments should focus on water quality and reference permit #SOP-13007. Comments can be sent to:
Division of Water Resources
401 Church Street
L&C Annex, Sixth Floor
Nashville, TN 37243