Friday, August 5, 2016
Appeal Denied In USN Permit Suit
By Walter F. Roche Jr.
A Davidson Chancery Court Judge Friday turned down an appeal of a decision dismissing a legal challenge to a state permit for a 12-mile pipeline to the Nolichucky River in eastern Tennessee.
Judge Claudia Bonnyman turned down the appeal following a morning hearing in her Nashville courtoom.
The appeal was filed in behalf of six residents who own property along the Nolichucky. They had charged that the Tennessee Department of Transportation exceeded its authority when it granted a permit allowing the pipeline to be installed along the rights of way of two state highways.
Attorneys for US Nitrogen, TDOT and the Industrial Development Board of Greeneville and Greene County argued that the landowners lacked the legal standing to challenge the permit. Bonnyman agreed.
The pipeline already is in use with millions of gallons of river water being pumped to and from the river to the new $200 million manufacturing facility of US Nitrogen in Mosheim.
Bonnyman's decision means her May 5 decision dismissing the suit will stand barring a successful appeal to a higher court.
The suit is one of several legal challenges to the pipeline and the US Nitrogen project. None so far have been successful and officials at the ammonium nitrate plant have filed formal startup notices with the state.