Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Large Turnout Likely for US Nitrogen Hearing

By Walter F. Roche Jr.

A large turnout is anticipated for a key court hearing Thursday in a case filed by local residents seeking to block plans for a 12-mile pipeline from a new Greene County industrial facility to the
Nolichucky River.
The 9 a.m. hearing before Chancellor Douglas Jenkins will include arguments for an order to halt the pipeline construction immediately and a motion by US Nitrogen and the county industrial development board to have the suit thrown out.
The plaintiffs in the suit include dozens of local landowners along the path of the pipeline, which is already well under construction.
On its web site, Save the Nolichucky has posted details about the time and location of the hearing and encouragements for high attendance. "Stand up for your river," reads the title of a recent posting.
The suit charges that the development board acted improperly in approving the pipeline last year and cites the arrest of local resident Eddie Overholt, when he complained that those in attendance at the session could not hear the discussion.
Lawyers for the IDB and US Nitrogen countered with the claim that the state Open Meeting Law does not give residents the right to hear the proceedings.
It was that claim that prompted the Tennessee Coalition for Open Government to file a motion seeking to join in on the suit. That motion will also be up for consideration Thursday.

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