NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Nov. 7, 2015) -- A limestone rock quarry has been proposed on private land adjacent to Old Hickory Lock and Dam, which is owned and operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Nashville District.
If you’ve driven by the proposed quarry site recently, it is well beyond just being a proposal, with heavy construction equipment on site having begun initial development and site preparation.
The resulting grass-roots response and outcry from local residents has elicited the involvement of local representatives from all levels of government, and highlighted the roles of several agencies in the review of this proposal, to include the Corps of Engineers.
What you may not know is how the Corps of Engineers is involved and how we are working closely with other state and local agencies to ensure applicable laws are enforced and the public’s safety is ensured.
The Corps’ primary concern is to ensure the public’s safety as we maintain critical infrastructure and to serve as good stewards of our nation’s resources.
Our mission is to provide a high quality and safe experience to everyone who visits any Corps property or facility.
As the property owner of an adjacent federal civil works project, the Corps has taken the proposed quarry very seriously, especially in regards to public safety, because public safety is paramount to all that we do — especially dam safety.
The Corps’ dam safety program requires extensive annual inspections of every dam under the Corps’ authority.
These inspections over the past decade resulted in the major repairs at Wolf Creek and Center Hill dams.
This work was expensive and time consuming but in the end, the Corps ensured the public’s safety.
We are actively and continually working to ensure that all of our dams meet the Corps' safety criteria.
We want to keep it that way. The district is in complete agreement with the local, state and federal representatives that there must be a shared understanding of the proposed construction and operation of a rock quarry and of its impact on the general public, the environment and on the adjacent lock, dam and recreation area.
The lock and dam provide critical navigation, recreation and hydropower benefits locally as well as regionally.
The Nashville District is analyzing the possible effects that the proposed quarry’s blasting could have on the lock and dam facilities and operations.
So far, our preliminary information leads us to believe that the resulting vibration levels are within an acceptable range of what the dam is designed to withstand, but we are continuing to look into this issue. The Nashville District also is reviewing whether we have any impacts to aquatic resources associated with the construction of the rock quarry.
We will do our part, along with the other involved agencies, local citizens and representatives, to ensure the safety of the public and to maintain the proven integrity and performance of Old Hickory Lock and Dam.
We look forward to our continued partnership and collaboration with federal, state and local leadership and the great citizens who live, work and recreate on and adjacent to our project.
We will strive to keep our area beautiful and our national infrastructure well maintained and safe.