TDEC: 'Small number' of barrels at Rocky Top site

ROCKY TOP, Tenn. (WVLT) -- The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation reported that only a small amount of barrels remain at a dump site in Rocky Top.

Last year in October, WVLT News reported that neighbors were concerned because of a large dump site with thousands of barrels leaking unknown fluids into a Coal Creek Tributary. On Feb. 11 of 2019, TDEC reported that they investigated the site again to inspect the cleanup progress.

"A small number of barrels remain, nearly all liquid stored in totes has been removed, and adequate measures are in place to prevent erosion. No impacts to nearby surface waters were observed."

According to an official notice from the state, Dr. Larry Watters of An Every Need Met Church Ministry was cited by the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, Division of Water Resources after complaints were filed regarding the site last year.

Several other agencies investigated the site at 239 Longfield Church Road in Rocky Top during the complaint investigation, including Anderson County EMA, Anderson County Codes Enforcement, Anderson County Sheriff’s Department, Anderson County HAZMAT, and the Division of Solid Waste Management.

Watters's violations included, improper storage of an unknown blue liquid which entered waters of the state, operating a recycling center without coverage under the Tennessee Multi-sector Permit, failure to properly treat industrial storm water discharge from recycling operation, and failure to install necessary erosion and sediment control measures which resulted in sediment entering waters of the state.

Watters was required to attend a compliance review meeting with division personnel on November 14.

According to TDEC, Watters has until March 31, 2019 to remove the remaining barrels and until April 15, 2019 to fully stabilize the site.