Here is your Legislative Update and Action Alert from Tennessee Conservation Voters

Legislative Update and Action Alert 3/31 /2017
The Rush to Judgment

Several committees have shut down for the year, including the Senate Energy, Agriculture & Natural Resources Committee. Many other committees are on their Final Calendar. At the same time many bills are just now being amended to show what they are really about. Functionally, this means that bills are being rushed through closing committees that the public and stakeholders have not had a chance to examine. This makes it all the more important that advocates keep their eyes on the prize and ensure that legislators think about what they are doing.

Please, view the following bills and take action!

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CAFOs on the Calendar

SB899/HB1017 By Bell/Hawk began as a caption bill but was amended to delete Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation's Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations program. (For more info on CAFOs, click here.) We wrote about it last week, please see our talking points here, and then tell your Representative and Senator to oppose this harmful legislation. It is in the Calendar Committee of both House and Senate and we anticipate it coming to a floor vote. Simply put, if you want to help keep animal sewage out of streams, take action.

Coal Mining Legislation Update

SB686/HB571 by Yager and Powers is making its way through both the House and Senate. It is on calendar for the House Agriculture Committee and Senate Government Operations Committee. If last year is any judge, we can anticipate it making it to the House and Senate Finance Committee. Please let all these committee members and the governor know that there is no support for this fiscally irresponsible and harmful legislation!

This bill is a waste of Tennessee taxpayer's money. Funds generated from coal mining do not come close to covering the cost of regulating coal mining. Per the bill's own fiscal note, we will be paying millions of dollars a year and relying on uncertain federal funds to offset the cost of regulating something that the federal government does for free!

If that wasn't enough, coal mining is also on the decline. If revenue from coal can't cover the cost right now, then it certainly won't as profits from coal mining disappear!

Another Attack on Storm-Water Runoff Regulation

SB295/HB362  ( as amended ) would give the legislature the power to review local governmental experts' regulation of post-construction stormwater run-off. This is a waster of their time and our money as taxpayers. They can give themselves the authority to review all the regulations they want, but they cannot give themselves the expertise to do so scientifically.
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