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Tennessee Riverkeeper Notifies Property Owners of Intent to Sue Over Illegal Discharges of Landfill Leachate into Cypress Creek and the Tennessee River

by Katie Shaddix last modified March 01, 2013 05:41 PM



FLORENCE, AL – Nonprofit organization Tennessee Riverkeeper has announced its intention to file a federal lawsuit to abate pollution from the old Florence Landfill site. The notice of intent to sue, mailed by Riverkeeper to Hensley-Graves Holdings, LLC, (Hensley) is a statutory requirement 60 days prior to the filing of a lawsuit under both the federal Clean Water Act (CWA) and the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA).


“Although the old Florence Landfill off West Irvine Avenue has been closed since 1987, it continues to discharge pollutants from buried waste into Cypress Creek and the Tennessee River. This discharge is occurring through a permanent spring located at the base of the landfill that is readily visible to anyone traveling along the creek,” said David Whiteside, Executive Director of Tennessee Riverkeeper.


Whiteside added, “The legal action on behalf of the nonprofit organization Tennessee Riverkeeper, will address this failure to comply with federal law and to protect the quality of water in Cypress Creek and the Tennessee River.”


Hensley-Graves Holdings, LLC, purchased the property in December 2008. Tennessee Riverkeeper’s Notice of Intent to Sue alleges that Hensley is violating the CWA by discharging pollutants, consisting of contaminated leachate, from the old Florence Landfill. The Notice also charges Hensley with violating RCRA because the discharges of contaminated leachate make the landfill constitute an “open dump,” as defined by that statute. Open dumping is prohibited by RCRA.


Since 1987, numerous samples of water from this spring have been tested by laboratories that use Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approved methods. The test results have consistently shown contaminants that are associated with garbage and industrial waste.


“By taking this legal action, Tennessee Riverkeeper has provided an opportunity for all interested parties to understand more fully how the Clean Water Act applies to protecting Cypress Creek and the Tennessee River from landfill leachate that is being discharged through a nearby spring” said David Cope, a concerned citizen from Florence, Alabama.




Tennessee Riverkeeper, Inc. – P.O. Box 2594 – Decatur, AL 35602 –




Tennessee Riverkeeper, founded in 2009, is a 501(c)(3) non-profit membership organization. The mission of Tennessee Riverkeeper is to protect the Tennessee River and its tributaries by enforcing environmental laws and educating the public. Tennessee Riverkeeper advocates for the watershed to ensure that future generations inherit safe, clean water in their communities. David Whiteside founded Tennessee Riverkeeper in 2009 and Black Warrior Riverkeeper in 2001.





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