Bredesen Announces Waste Tire Cleanup Grant for Greene County
Nashville, Tenn. – Governor Phil Bredesen and Department of Environment and Conservation Commissioner Jim Fyke today announced a $40,000 Waste Tire Cleanup Grant for Greene County, to help fund the cleanup of thousands of tires that were dumped in the Nolichucky River decades ago.
“This Waste Tire Cleanup Grant will help Greene County address a decades-old issue and clean up used tires that have created a blight on Tennessee’s scenic landscape,” said Bredesen. “I’m pleased the state can provide assistance for this Nolichucky River project.”
Thousands of tires were dumped in the Nolichucky River in the 1950s-1960s by a tire business operating on the bank at the time. The tires are washed downstream when the Nolichucky River is flowing, and they are more visible during periods of low water.
The Waste Tire Cleanup Grant will pay for a contractor to provide cleanup services including labor, equipment, and proper disposal for the first phase of the cleanup. Additional cleanup needs will be assessed once the first phase of work is complete.
“The Department of Environment and Conservation is pleased not just to provide funding to start cleanup, but also to continue to work with the community and cleanup contractor to ensure the tires are removed in such a way as to not cause harm during the removal process,” said Fyke. “Heavy equipment has the potential to damage river banks, and removing tires upstream of the drinking water intake can stir up sediment, so it’s important the cleanup activities are well planned and carefully executed.”
State Representatives Eddie Yokley and David Hawk, and State Senator Steve Southerland, have been working with the community and the department on this issue.
“Citizens living along the banks of the Nolichucky River do not want their beautiful Tennessee landscape marred by old tires,” said Representative Yokley. “We appreciate programs like the Waste Tire Cleanup Grant program that help provide some relief.”
“Certainly there is a local interest in cleaning these tires up,” said Representative Hawk. “We’re pleased there is a mechanism in place to help local communities deal with tire dumps, particularly for situations like this one where there is no one left to hold responsible.”
Waste Tire Cleanup Grants are administered by the Department of Environment and Conservation, through the Solid Waste Management Fund. For more information, visit the department’s Web site at: www.tdec.net/swm/grants/wtcgrant.shtml.