Cleveland, Tenn., cited for runoff problems

Cleveland, Tenn., cited for runoff problems

July 27th, 2013 by Paul Leach in Local Regional News

Photo by Laura McNutt/Times Free Press.

Document: TDEC violation

CLEVELAND, Tenn. - State environmental regulators have cited Cleveland officials again for runoff problems in a road being built to serve a developing industrial park in southern Bradley County.

The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation on July 17 issued a notice of violation for the Harriman Road project, saying runoff threatens pristine Brymer Creek.

"Somebody's not doing their job," said Bradley County Commissioner Ed Elkins, who gave a presentation to county leaders on the matter this week.

He shared TDEC's letter that enumerated lack of compliance with erosion and sediment controls on the site dating back to August 2012. He showed photographs of washed-out check dams and eroded gravel roadbeds that he said were taken by a concerned resident.

A video titled "Killing Brymer Creek 7-2-2013" -- which shows muddied waters polluting a creek -- has been posted to YouTube by a narrator identifying himself as Steve Campbell. He identifies the bodies of water as Spring Branch and Brymer Creek. Campbell has posted other YouTube videos regarding the Harriman Road project and Brymer Creek.

The July 21 notice of violation mentioned problems and corrective actions ordered in a June 6 inspection that had not been completely resolved by a re-inspection July 8.

The TDEC notice stated that a new stormwater pollution prevention plan has to be submitted to the agency's Chattanooga office by July 29. By July 26, "any existing sediment and erosion controls that have become inadequate due to lack of maintenance and/or improper installation" must be repaired or replaced.

Jonathan Jobe, director of Cleveland's Development and Engineering Services, said Friday that corrective work and a new prevention plan were in progress.

City Manager Janice Casteel said TDEC has not levied any fines against Cleveland in regards to the Harriman Road project.

Steve Williams of Steve Williams Construction, the project's contractor, could not be reached for comment.

The rebuilt Harriman Road will serve the Spring Branch industrial park project, which Cleveland, Bradley County and Cleveland Utilities are developing near McDonald, Tenn., just east of exit 20 on Interstate 75.

McDonald community members expressed concerns over possible harm to Brymer Creek from the development in several public meetings before the governments bought the land last year.

Paul Leach is based in Cleveland. Email him at paul.leach.press@gmail.com.