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County faces fines over stormwater
Jan 14, 2005 12:00 am
Wilson County government could face tens of thousands of dollars in fines if it does not step up its efforts to put in place a new state mandated stormwater regulations.
Despite this revelation Wednesday, two county panels deferred passage of a stormwater ordinance.
Wilson County Planner Tom Brashear said in a joint meeting of the Wilson County Urban Type Facilities Board and Planning and Zoning Committee on the county could be assessed penalties at any time by the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation for not already having the ordinance in place. Penalties could amount to $10,000 per day, but Brashear added he did not believe penalty assessment was imminent.
He explained Wednesday the ordinance was part of a five-year plan the county must submit to the state to obtain a permit for National Pollutant Discharge Elimination Systems, which was granted in April 2003. Since the county did not have the ordinance in place, it was agreed with TDEC approval to grant the permit but with the caveat a stormwater ordinance be in place in a year.
"That didn't get done," Brashear said.
He explained TDEC agreed to not penalize the county as long as they could show they were working toward passing an ordinance in good faith. Officials expected to have had the ordinance passed last December.
Commissioners decided to have two or three members of each committee develop a list of talking points on the ordinance amendments, which Bob Rochelle, attorney for the utilities, reviewed at length.
The ordinance, most recently revised in December, still has 13 proposed amendments pending.
Commissioners discussed the 13 amendments in great depth, and ultimately decided to defer their decision with some noting they were not ready to vote on the ordinance's present form.
"For us to rush to any adoption is a serious mistake," said District 8 Wilson County Commissioner W.J. "Mac" McCluskey said.
"I am not ready to vote on it today," Zone 3 Road Commissioner Billy Rowland said.
"I am not ready to vote on it in its current form," agreed Gilbert Graves, Zone 4 road commissioner.
Wilson County Attorney Mike Jennings said he would draft a letter to TDEC explaining they would need to extend their deadline.
"I'll get some kind of notification to the state," Jennings said.
Staff Writer Cori Galeano can be reached at 444-3952 ext. 15 or by e-mail at email@example.com.