This bothers me. There are rules about what you can do to a watershed, not as many as there should be, and they are not as clear as they should be, but they exist for a reason. Developers shouldn't be able to destroy watersheds to make money. Everyone's drinking water starts in streams that have intermittant flow, dry in the dry season, running well in the wet season, and most stream life depends on these for survival. A Bill in the State House would wipe away all common sense and simply let these streams be destroyed.

Road builders and Developers don't like environemtal regulations for one reason...money. It's a pain to comply with them and some of them limit what can be done on a given tract of land.

We should be working together to make th regulations clear and enforcing them consistantly so that all develpers, not just the unconnected ones, have to obey the rules. Unfortunately, a bill in the house will simply wipe the regulations away and leave 30,000 miles of streams open to unmittigated destruction.

Here's what the Tennessee Wildlife Federation says about this:

Fish and Clean Water Potentially Threatened by HB4185
Two weeks ago a piece of legislation known as the "Limited Resource Waters" bill was
revealed. It represents the single largest threat to water quality and fish that the Federation has seen in the last 15 years.

The legislation seeks to remove significant water quality protections that currently exist. The bill is being supported by coalition which includes the Tennessee Road Builders Association, some home builders, the Tennessee Farm Bureau, the Tennessee Forestry Association and representatives of the coal mining industry. In its current form, HB4185 will do the following:

Remove current protections for human and wildlife health and safety
Remove current protections that prevent pollution from running into streams
Slow down the TDEC Aquatic Resource Alteration Permit process for business across the state

Our analysis shows HB4185/SB4119 will create a scenario where streams, wetland and lakes will, over time, be impacted be sediment and toxins. This will damage aquatic life, including fishable waters and fish populations, in addition to placing greater pressures upon all streams, rivers, wetlands and lakes which will adversely impact the business community as well.

Click here to read TWF's testimony before the House environment subcommittee. As an alternative to HB4185/SB4119, TWF has requested that elected officials pursue a Comptroller's Audit of TDEC application and enforcement of water delineation rules in the field to ensure that these efforts are being consistently applied across Tennessee. If problems are discovered as a result of an Audit, TWF has committed to work with all stakeholders to identify and press for implementation of an administrative solution.

Action: Please contact members of the House and Senate Conservation and Environment Committee and express opposition to HB4185/SB4119.

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Lost Medicaid Funding

To date, the failure to expand Medicaid / TennCare has cost the State of Tennessee ? in lost federal funding.