Saturday, October 17, 2015
Amended Complaint Filed in US Nitrogen Suit
By Walter F. Roche Jr.
Opponents of the US Nitrogen project have filed an amended complaint in a suit filed to challenge the legality of a permit issued for a 12 mile pipeline.
The amended complaint comes as an Oct. 30 date has been set for a hearing on motions to dismiss the complaint in its entirety.
The amended complaint filed in behalf of local residents Ann Calfee, Jack Renner, Jeremiah Cluesman, Ruth Dolin and Rueben Stone, asks a Davidson County Chancery Judge to declare that the permit issued by the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) is invalid.
Originally the plaintiffs had asked for an injunction to halt construction of the pipeline, but that issue became moot as US Nitrogen went forward with the pipeline which connects to the Nolichucky River.
"Petitioners request the court to declare that the statutes governing TDOT ... do not authorize it to grant use of public highway rights-of-way to non-utilities and do not allow granting the rights of way for economic development other than for gas lines via bridge attachments," the new complaint states.
The suit is one of the few remaining as several other efforts to block the US Nitrogen project in the courts have been turned back.
Attorneys for TDOT have denied the charges in the suit and have asked Chancery Court Judge Claudia C. Bonnyman to dismiss the case.
The $200 million US Nitrogen project is nearing completion and company officials have announced a phased-in startup for later this year.
The amended complaint filed earlier this month by Nashville attorney Elizabeth L. Murphy repeats the details of the original complaint.
"The TDOT permit No. TN 81566 does not conform to state law or TDOT rules," the new filing concludes.