Nashville District Announces Plans To Tighten Restrictions Around Corps Dams

Thursday, December 13, 2012

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District is finalizing plans to implement 24/7 restricted waterborne access to hazardous waters immediately upstream and downstream of all Corps-owned locks and dams, flood control dams and multi-purpose dams on the Cumberland River and its adjoining tributaries. This action moves the Nashville District into full compliance with Corps regulations.

Public information meetings are planned for Paducah, Ky., Nashville, Cookeville, Tn. and Somerset, Ky. in January 2013.These meetings will allow the public to respond to the proposed implementation plans. Detailed information for each meeting’s time and location will be provided to the public as soon as they are finalized.

The restricted areas will be the minimum area allowed per Corps regulations upstream and downstream of locks, dams, and power plant facilities. All forms of water access within the restricted areas will be prohibited including boating, swimming and wading.The Corps continues to allow bank fishing in all areas that were previously approved, including areas adjacent to some restricted areas.The restricted areas will be small areas compared to the entire tailwater below the dams on federal property.Fishing and boating will still be allowed in these non-restricted areas.

"We understand the tightened restricted areas in the Nashville District may be unpopular, but it is necessary for the district to enforce a more restrictive policy that complies more effectively with U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ ER 1130-2-520, Chapter 10," said Freddie Bell, chief of the Natural Resource Management Branch."The increased restriction will also provide the highest level of public safety and address physical security issues."

Since 2009, three fatalities, one serious injury and 10 near misses/rescues have occurred in the hazardous waters immediately downstream of dams on the Cumberland River and its adjoining tributaries. Life jacket wear has been ineffective in these areas, since all of the victims who drowned were wearing a life jacket.

The immediate hazardous water areas above and below dams in the Nashville District are best described as industrial areas that pose a high level of risk for the public because of the hydroelectric, spilling, sluicing and lock operations that are often present or begin with little or no notice.Such water releases can change a dry riverbed or calm waters into a life-threatening situation within seconds that can swamp, capsize and trap boats and people in turbulent waters.

"We want the public to understand safety is the Agency’s highest priority," said Mr. Bell. "The tailwater directly below a dam is a high risk area and fishing in this area is a high risk activity.As we comply with Corps regulations by restricting these areas, we are also keeping the public safe."

For more information, on the "Restricted Areas Around Dams" please go to http://www.lrn.usace.army.mil/pao/news/boating_restrictions_near_dams.htm.

The public can obtain news, updates and information from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District on the district’s website at www.lrn.usace.army.mil, on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/nashvillecorps and on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/nashvillecorps


Lookout Mountain Conservancy And The Howard School Continue Environmental Connections On Thursday

Fifty students from The Howard School will continue “Environmental Connections,” for 2014 on Thursday. “Environmental Connections” is an environmental education and outdoor classroom project engaging The Howard School in Chattanooga and staff and volunteers from Lookout Mountain Conservancy. The Tennessee American Water Company provided funding for the pilot project last fall, ... (click for more)

2014 Spring Boat Show Is This Weekend

Erwin Marine Sales will offer its Spring Boat Show on Saturday, from 9 a.m.-6 p.m., and Sunday, from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. at the Chickamauga Marina. Organizers said, "We have the largest selection of new and pre-owned boats by brands you know and trust like Bayliner and Sea Ray sport boats, cruisers, yachts and Cypress Cay pontoons." New and pre-owned boats will be in the water ... (click for more)

Catoosa Man Convicted Of Sexual Abuse Of 5 Young Girls Gets Life Plus 250 Years

A Catoosa County man convicted of the sexual abuse of five young girls and possession of child pornography has been sentenced to life plus 250 years. James Martin Ferris, 34, was found guilty after a recent trial. The day after his conviction, Judge Ralph Van Pelt set the sentence. Ferris on June 5, 2013, was indicted by the Catoosa County Grand Jury on 46 counts.   ... (click for more)

Rev. Jesse Jackson To Be Guest Speaker At City-Wide Peace And Love Rally On Friday

Rev. Jesse Jackson will be the speaker at the City Wide Peace and Love Rally at Olivet Baptist Church, 740 East ML King Blvd.,  on Friday, from 5:15-7 p.m. Rev. Jackson is the founder and president of Rainbow PUSH Coalition. Cedric Pendleton, actor and humanitarian with Have and Have Nots/House of Payne/Fantasia Story, will be the special guest. (click for more)

Use The Current Rail System Already In Place - And Response

Why spend $20 million or more on an unproven system to run from the Southside of Chattanooga when we already have the beginnings of a system?  The question apparently has surfaced of why the Choo Choo City doesn't have a rail line. We do have a rail line with the Tennessee Valley RR Museum and their hardware. And they already make runs from the Southside to close to Enterprise ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: UAW Voices In Detroit

Today we are going to eavesdrop on somewhat of an open conversation that was held far to the north after the United Auto Workers surprisingly dropped a legal challenge with the National Labor Relations Board in Chattanooga the first thing on Monday morning. The NLRB judge certified the VW workers’ February vote to turn away the UAW at Chattanooga’s Volkswagen manufacturing plant ... (click for more)