Megasite waste water dumping site relocated after vocal local opposition

After vocal opposition from residents in and around the Tipton County community of Randolph, located on the banks of the Mississippi River, state officials are withdrawing their current plans for the Memphis Regional Megasite’s 35-mile long wastewater pipeline, reports the Memphis Daily News.

In its place, the Tennessee Department of General Services, which is handling the application process for the state, will submit an amended application to extend the pipeline an additional four miles to a deeper section of the Mississippi River that also avoids Randolph.

The state hopes this new plan finally gets a green light from the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation and the Army Corps of Engineers. More than 400 letters were sent to TDEC opposing the original wastewater plan.

“We have, I think, a very defined strategy and plan to get to what we call shovel-ready,” Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development commissioner Bob Rolfe told the Memphis Regional Megasite Authority board Monday, Jan. 22. “And what we are defining as shovel-ready is removing any hurdles, obstacles, permits, funding, resources, etc. to allow us to be able to sit down and talk with a potential company.”

Rolfe said the new plan, which would pipe sewage from the megasite in Haywood County through Tipton County, will now empty into a nearly 100-foot deep portion of the Mississippi River where the currents are stronger.

“TDEC and the Corps have both shared with us that this new outfall, with all of the necessary treatments upstream, are such that it will allow them to be in position to hopefully issue a permit,” Rolfe said.

Note: Rolfe recently told legislators another $80 million in state funding is needed to get the Megasite “shovel ready, according to the Nashville Post. That’s up from the $72 million estimate Rolfe made during budget hearings last fall (previous post HERE). The state has already spent more than $140 million developing the site.




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