In an April 24, 2018 meeting of the Franklin Board of Mayor & Aldermen, the Franklin City Manager stated the City’s commitment to “holding the line” on phosphorus pollution:
"Our commitment [is] that the loading we put in that river is no more than is it today even though we are adding treatment capacity."
Although Franklin says it is committed to discharging “no more than it is today,” in Franklin's permit appeal the city argued that no phosphorus limit was necessary, that the limit should be what’s allowed in the 2010/2011 permit (500 lbs/day), or that it should be entitled to discharge more phosphorus than the 2017 permit.
Further, Franklin has argued that public oversight into its discharges would be “inconvenient,” notwithstanding the vital role citizens are supposed to play under the Clean Water Act (or even as “gadflies”).
We believe that, with leadership, the Harpeth River can be one of the first to be restored and taken off the State’s list of waters impaired by pollution. The river could be an even greater “draw” for residents and visitors alike. The best way to accomplish these important goals is through involving all stakeholders in river decisions.
Can we resolve these issues? Absolutely. But it will take transparency, cooperation, sound science, and public engagement.
CLICK HERE to visit our TMDL webpage and learn about how the Harpeth Conservancy, Franklin, TDEC, and other stakeholders are coming together to design a pollution reduction study and plan for the Harpeth River.