City of Cookeville Sued by Nonprofit Environmental Group Tennessee Riverkeeper

According to a lawsuit filed in federal court last Friday, Tennessee River Keeper Inc., a nonprofit environmental group, is suing the City of Cookeville Water and Sewer Department for allegedly discharging sewage into streams and creeks that feed into the Cumberland River.  

The lawsuit alleges the city is discharging pollutants to the waters of the United States and waters of the state due to its failure to operate its collection system to avoid overflows. Riverkeeper is suing for a declaratory judgment of $59,973, injunctive relief, court costs and expert witness fees. According to the lawsuit, the sewage is being released into the Blackburn Fork, Little Creek and Cane Creek which stream into Falling Water River, Caney Fork and Center Hill Lake.

Riverkeepers claim their members would, according to the lawsuit, “recreate more in and around these waters but for the Defendant’s illegal discharges of pollution. Riverkeeper’s members will recreate more often in or near these waters once the defendant’s illegal discharges cease.”

Riverkeepers claims the violations are ongoing.

“These violations have an adverse impact on waters of the United States and waters of the state,” the lawsuit said.

Ron Moses is the managing editor of the Upper Cumberland Business Journal and can be reached via email. Send an email.

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