OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Clean Water Non Profit Seeks Stream Volunteers

Application for Stream Monitor

Clean Water Expected in East Tennessee, a group started by raft guides in response to pollution on the Pigeon River, is applying for a third year of funding to continue a stream monitoring project on the neighboring Nolichucky River. The grant was awarded in 2015 and 2016 by Patagonia, an outdoor gear and clothing company based in California. Clean Water Expected in East TN (CWEET), pronounced “sweet”, requested grant funding from Patagonia in 2014 after a controversial wastewater discharge permit was issued for US Nitrogen, a manufacturer of liquid ammonium nitrate, a substance used in the production of explosives.

The group is seeking a dedicated volunteer to conduct stream monitoring on the Nolichucky and Pigeon Rivers. To date, the clean water group has gathered data on the Nolichucky River such as chemical water analysis and a benthic index of macroinvertebrate species. Macroinvertebrates or “river bugs” as the organization refers to them, are small organisms that commonly live in rivers, streams, and wetlands, Some species include dragonfly nymph, worms, snails, beetles, leeches, mayflies, and caddisflies. These river bugs are useful indicators of the health or condition of rivers and streams. They respond to many kinds of pollution, including chemical pollution and physical disturbance to the landscape around the water body. Because of their range of sensitivities to pollution they are commonly used to determine water quality and to develop water quality standards.   

According to CWEET’s community organizer, Amelia Taylor, water quality on the Nolichucky River appears to be good. She said that “we have gotten several rounds of data collected both upstream and downstream of US Nitrogen’s discharge pipe before the company started its production. All the data indicates that before US Nitrogen began polluting the Nolichucky River, the quality was meeting EPA drinking water standards for nitrogen, ammonia, and nitric acid levels.  Those are all chemicals that US Nitrogen uses in their manufacturing process to create explosives used in mountaintop removal coal mining which is a devastating practice that has destroyed entire watersheds. It will be interesting to see what the data reflects now that they have actually begun production. Of course, we all hope it stays good, but considering the brief history US Nitrogen has had in our community, some riverside landowners have their doubts.”

CWEET is currently seeking a limited number of volunteers to commit to at least 1 years participation in the water quality monitoring project. Volunteers will be trained to conduct a biological index of the river’s macroinvertebrate population and to properly capture chemical samples. The training will be led by Asheville, NC’s Environmental Quality Institute Stream Monitoring Information Exchange, which has been gathering data on various rivers and streams in the region for the last 10 years. Volunteers must be available to attend a Saturday, September 18th training in Asheville, NC and for field work in the Spring and Fall of 2017.

In addition to volunteers, the organization is also in need of a boat for their project. “One of the more challenging aspects of the program has been our ability to actually get out  into the Nolichucky River”, said the organization’s coordinator, Tracey Gilbert.  CWEET is a federally listed non-profit organization that can accept tax-deductible donations. They are hoping someone in the region can donate kayaks, a canoe, or a john boat. “If we owned a boat then it would cut out one of the more complicated aspects of the project. Members of the community have graciously allowed us to borrow boats for the stream monitoring project but it can be difficult to coordinate all the right people at the right time. Our project is extremely dependent on water levels in the Nolichucky, so our volunteers have to be flexible with their time as a rain event can cause for rescheduling of the testing. If CWEET owned a boat I know it would make it easier for us to just get out there and get the work done”, said Tracey Gilbert.

Since the organization began in 2002 its work has evolved to focus on the needs of rural appalachian communities with a emphasis on watersheds across the region. Some of the groups most recent work involves efforts to  monitor water quality on the Nolichucky River but the organization has also been working with the Sustainable Equitable Agricultural Development board to provide the region with options for broadband internet offerings in rural areas, as well as offering arts and cultural activities that promote diversity in the Cocke County area.

CWEET will be accepting applications until September 8 for volunteers interested in participating in the stream monitoring project. The application can be found on their website at cweet.org or by calling the non-profit at 865 453 8535.

###

Blues Rock Band to Perform in Hartford for Clean Water

redhoney

Red Honey, an Asheville, NC-based rock and blues band will be performing at the Beantrees Cafe on Thursday, July 28th in Hartford, TN at 8 pm. The band is self described as coming “from the rolling mountains of Western North Carolina, Red Honey brings their unmatched brand of rockin’ surfabilly to the stage, melting hearts and flushing cheeks in their wake. Dubbed the secret love child of Johnny Cash and Grace Slick, the band’s unique sound draws clear influences from ‘60s psychedelia, surf rock, classic country, and blues”.

Open to all ages the show will feature kids activities, food cooked by Maria Guzman of the former Front Porch restaurant, and drinks available from Clean Water Expected in East Tennessee, the group hosting the event.  This event is a fundraiser for Clean Water Expected in East Tennessee, a local non profit organization that “encourages healthy, thriving, Appalachian communities. Advocating and creating solutions for clean water and environments, flourishing local economies, participation in politics, and positive social and individual growth.”

Clean Water Expected in East Tennessee, known as CWEET,  and pronounced “sweet”, was started in 2004 by a group of river guides concerned about pollution in the Pigeon River. Since that time the organizations work has evolved to focus on the needs of rural Appalachian communities with a emphasis on watersheds across the region. Some of the groups most recent work involves efforts to  monitor water quality on the Nolichucky River on which, US Nitrogen an explosives manufacturer, has a permit to discharge pollutants in the Midway community on the Cocke and Greene County line. The organization has also been working with the Sustainable Equitable Agricultural Development board to provide the region with options for broadband internet offerings in rural areas, as well as offering arts and cultural activities that promote diversity in the Cocke County area.

For more information contact CWEET at 865 453 8535 or visit their website at www.cweet.org

CWEET awarded grant to start stream monitoring project on the Nolichucky River.

StreamMonitoringWorkshop4Jun11     CWEET is proud to announce that we have been awarded a grant by Patagonia to start a stream monitoring project on the Nolichucky River.

We are currently accepting applications for volunteers interested in committing  to a year-long project. Applications can be found by clicking here: stream monitoring volunteer application

 

A recent article written about CWEET’s new grant and stream project.

2/23/15

Clean Water Expected in East Tennessee, started by raft guides in response to pollution on the Pigeon River, has received its first grant to start a stream monitoring project on the neighboring Nolichucky River. The grant was awarded by Patagonia, an outdoor gear and clothing company based in California. Clean Water Expected in East TN (CWEET), pronounced “sweet”, requested grant funding from Patagonia after the controversial wastewater discharge permit was issued for US Nitrogen, a manufacturer of liquid ammonium nitrate, a substance used in the production of explosives.

Although US Nitrogen held its groundbreaking ceremony in February of 2012, the company has encountered multiple setbacks as citizens from Greene, Cocke, and Hamblen Counties have rallied to stop the construction of what some residents are calling a “pollution” pipeline. The controversial pipeline will allow for withdrawals of fresh water from the Nolichucky to be returned back to the river polluted with state-accepted levels of nitrogen, ammonia, and nitric acid. CWEET is concerned about already existing levels of Nitrogen in the Nolichucky River from nearby agriculture and believes that US Nitrogen’s effluent may add consequences for endangered mussels and biological life downstream of the pipe.

According to CWEET’s community organizer Amelia Taylor, “US Nitrogen is owned by Austin Powder, a company that contracts to literally blow up mountains using an environmentally devastating coal mining practice called mountaintop removal. This company is not concerned about the well-being of the Nolichucky River or the residents along its shores; they are concerned about one thing, their profit margin.”

CWEET is currently seeking a limited number of volunteers to commit to one years participation in the water quality monitoring project. Volunteers will be trained to conduct a biological index of the river’s macroinvertebrate population and to properly capture chemical samples. The training will be led by Asheville, NC’s Environmental Quality InstituteStream Monitoring Information Exchange, which has been gathering data on various rivers and streams in the region for the last 10 years.

CWEET’s director, Deborah Bahr, believes that this project highlights the need nationwide for independent water quality monitoring as most industries are permitted to conduct their own monitoring and reporting. Deborah said, “Recent disasters such as the coal ash spills in North Carolina and Tennessee rivers and the Elk River chemical spill in West Virginia underline the degradation of our nation’s waters by corporate profit. What’s to say that US Nitrogen won’t have an accident of the same caliber? Almost every stream in the United States is polluted before it leaves the county where its headwaters begin, and that is a shame. What kind of future are we leaving our grandchildren? We need to work together to stop this.”

CWEET will be accepting applications until March 15 for volunteers interested in participating in the stream monitoring project. The application can be found on their website at cweet.org and more information can be obtained by calling the non-profit at 865 453 8535.

 

 

Clean Water Non Profit Receives Grant to Monitor Nolichucky Pollution

nolichucky1 nolichucky2

Clean Water Expected in East Tennessee, started by raft guides in response to pollution on the Pigeon River, has received its first grant to start a stream monitoring project on the neighboring Nolichucky River. The grant was awarded by Patagonia, an outdoor gear and clothing company based in California. Clean Water Expected in East TN (CWEET), pronounced “sweet”, requested grant funding from Patagonia after the controversial wastewater discharge permit was issued for US Nitrogen, a manufacturer of liquid ammonium nitrate, a substance used in the production of explosives.

Although US Nitrogen held its groundbreaking ceremony in February of 2012, the company has encountered multiple setbacks as citizens from Greene, Cocke, and Hamblen Counties have rallied to stop the construction of what some residents are calling a “pollution” pipeline. The controversial pipeline will allow for withdrawals of fresh water from the Nolichucky to be returned back to the river polluted with state-accepted levels of nitrogen, ammonia, and nitric acid. CWEET is concerned about already existing levels of Nitrogen in the Nolichucky River from nearby agriculture and believes that US Nitrogen’s effluent may add consequences for endangered mussels and biological life downstream of the pipe.  According to CWEET’s community organizer Amelia Taylor, “US Nitrogen is owned by Austin Powder, a company that contracts to literally blow up mountains using an environmentally devastating coal mining practice called mountaintop removal. This company is not concerned about the well-being of the Nolichucky River or the residents along its shores; they are concerned about one thing, their profit margin.”

CWEET is currently seeking a limited number of volunteers to commit to one years participation in the water quality monitoring project. Volunteers will be trained to conduct a biological index of the river’s macroinvertebrate population and to properly capture chemical samples. The training will be led by Asheville, NC’s Environmental Quality Institute Stream Monitoring Information Exchange, which has been gathering data on various rivers and streams in the region for the last 10 years.

CWEET’s director, Deborah Bahr, believes that this project highlights the need nationwide for independent water quality monitoring as most industries are permitted to conduct their own monitoring and reporting. Deborah said, “Recent disasters such as the coal ash spills in North Carolina and Tennessee rivers and the Elk River chemical spill in West Virginia underline the degradation of our nation’s waters by corporate profit. What’s to say that US Nitrogen won’t have an accident of the same caliber? Almost every stream in the United States is polluted before it leaves the county where its headwaters begin, and that is a shame. What kind of future are we leaving our grandchildren? We need to work together to stop this.”

CWEET will be accepting applications until March 15 for volunteers interested in participating in the stream monitoring project. The application can be found on their website at cweet.org and more information can be obtained by calling the non-profit at 865 453 8535.

Gettin’ Lucky on the Nolichucky

by: Rebecca O. Lewis

Alex Martin of Nolichucky Vinehyard and friends float down the section of the Nolichucky RIver threatened by pollution by US Nitrogen.

Alex Martin of Nolichucky Vinehyard and friends float down the section of the Nolichucky RIver threatened by pollution by US Nitrogen.

On Sunday, August 17, Clean Water Expected in East Tennessee (CWEET), will be hosting a family friendly event at The Nolichucky Vineyard, in Russellville, TN to bring attention to the proposed pollution pipeline to be built by US Nitrogen, an explosives company that hopes to discharge wastewater to the Nolichucky River in Cocke, Greene, and Hamblen Counties. This fabulous, free event is being offered to the public without charge by: CWEET (cweet.org), The Birdhouse (birdhouseknoxville.com), and The Nolichucky Vineyard (nolichuckyvineyard.com)

Folks will be meeting at The Nolichucky Vineyard, located at 6600 Fish Hatchery Road, Russellville, TN 37860. The family owned vineyard is situated on an old tobacco farm, that was converted to a grape farm in 2007. The Nolichucky River has enriched the soil on this farm with its sediment, and as a result, many varieties of grapes are successfully grown here. The grapes are then sold to several local area wineries.

The float will start at 2pm. Attendees can bring any craft that floats! Shuttles to and from the River, raft rides & life jackets will be provided free of charge!

All participants will be required to sign a liability waiver and wear a life jacket. Bring your own tubes if you can as CWEET will only have a limited number of tubes for sale. The Float will last until 6pm, and will take place on a threatened portion of the Nolichucky River.

A company by the name of US Nitrogen has plans to pollute this particular stretch of river with waste products from their ammonium nitrate, explosives production. These waste products include nitrogen, ammonia, and nitric acid. The presence of these chemicals may compromise oxygen levels and downstream endangered species. The company will take 1.9 million gallons of water from The Nolichucky each day free of charge, and then return 500,000 gallons of polluted water back each day.

CWEET is hoping to bring attention to the potential for how devastating this could be for downstream residents in Cocke, Greene, and Hamblen Counties as well as for the endangered and threatened oyster mussel, cumberlandian combshell, and snail darter.

An Afterparty to call for attention to Save the Nolichucky River will take place at 6pm with speakers, music, crafts, and food for sale.

There will be food and crafts for sale at the Afterparty taking place at the vineyard after the float trip ends at 6pm. Musical entertainment will be provided by Jon Worley & CornBred Blues.

CWEET is anticipating The Afterparty to wrap up around 8pm.

Float the Nolichucky A Party to Celebrate and Protect the River

0001IT

 

Don’t let the Nolichucky become another Dirty Bird!

An event to raise awareness about US Nitrogen, an explosives company that hopes to build a pipeline to take FREE water from the Nolichucky River and return it back polluted.

August 17th

Nolichucky Vineyard  6600 Fish Hatchery Rd   Russelville, TN

Float Trip 2-6 PM

Afterparty 6-8pm

Bring your own tube, kayak, or canoe.  A limited number of tubes will be available for sale at the event.

A limited number of Raft Rides, PFD’s (life jackets), and tubes for sale will be available at the event.

Afterparty will feature music, food, and crafts for sale.

This event is free!

All floaters will meet at Nolichucky Vineyard where we will gear up, go over a safety talk, and ride a shuttle 3 miles upstream where we will put-in and then float down to the Vineyard for the afterparty.

All floaters will be required to wear a life jacket and sign a liability release form. A safety talk and trained river guides will be on the float trip!

Wear shoes!
Old sneakers, sandals with a heel strap, or water shoes are recomended. Bare feet or flip flops are NOT recomended!

This trip has been organized by Clean Water Expected in East Tennessee, The Birdhouse, and Nolichucky Vineyard to celebrate the beauty of the Nolichucky and to raise awareness about US Nitrogen, an explosives company that hopes to obtain free water from the River and return it back polluted.

Come out to support our cause to protect the water and call for US Nitrogen to be required to purchase their water from a public utility, which was the companies original plan when they were give permission to locate in Greene County, TN rather than get FREE water and FREE right of way to pollute our beautiful Nolichucky RIver!

More questions? Call CWEET at 865 453 8535

US Nitrogen denied right of way to build pollution pipeline…

Click on the link below to see a letter written by Tennessee Department of Transportation denying US Nitrogen right of way to build a pollution pipeline for withdrawals from and pollution releases to the Nolichucky River (for now).

https://www.dropbox.com/s/y2mlm22hiay4kfb/US%20Nitrogen%20As-Served%20Letter%20to.pdf

Its not too late to Save the Noli !

Visit the Greene County group Save the Nolichucky here:

 https://www.facebook.com/pages/Save-the-Nolichucky/240125856178528

 

Save the Nolichucky

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Did you know that a chemical company is hoping to dump hundreds of thousands of gallons of contaminated water into the Nolichucky River?Check out Save the Nolichucky to learn how you can help.

The public comment period has been extended until May 3o and your comments could help prevent the permit from being granted to US Nitrogen.

US Nitrogen originally agreed to haul their waste off site when they opened last year. Now they want to dump all their waste into our Nolichucky River which flows into Greene, Cocke, Hamblen, and Jefferson Counties.

A form letter that can be mailed or emailed or that you can use to write your own can be found here

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/27030754/ExtensionRequestLetter.pdf

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA