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Center Hill Dam And Resevior Water Control Manual Update

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Center Hill Dam And Resevior Water Control Manual Update

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District holding a public meeting to review environmental impact of the revised Center Hill Dam and Reservoir Water Control Manual.

Biologist Patrick Garner has prepared the environmental assessment for updates to the Center Hill Water Control Manual. Garner said the resulting data analysis and assessments have resulted in a finding of no significant impact.

“We’ve been evaluating available data, we’ve been doing some modeling to evaluate the effects to different resource categories such as recreation and fish and wildlife and hydro-power production at Center Hill,” Garner said.

Garner said the public meeting is related to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) which is a process which documents compliance with environmental laws such as the Clean Water Act, Clean Air Act and the National Historic Preservation Act. He said that process also allows the public to be involved in an agency’s decision making process.

“We value the feedback that the public gives and we try to incorporate that as best we can into our decision making,” Garner said.

Garner said the NEPA process is required for any federally funded project. He said there are some actions that are excluded from NEPA review because the environmental impacts are already known.

Garner said in the case where the impacts are not known, an environmental impact study takes place for each component of environmental laws to determine whether there are significant impacts that would  necessitate an Environmental Impact Statement.

Garner said following the public meeting there will be a 30 day comment period.

“The purpose of the 30-day comment period is so people can review the draft  environmental assessment and unsigned finding of no significant impact,” Garner said. “And they can comment on how we proceeded through the NEPA process as well as the agency’s tentatively selected plan which is also called the preferred alternative.”

Garner said they planned to proceed with the finding of no significant impact, which would close the NEPA process for this action.

“What this seeks to implement is a more frequent minimum flow, which is most consistent with the last three years,” Garner said.

The public meeting is Tuesday August 8 from 5-7:30 pm at the Smith County Agricultural Center in Carthage, Tennessee,

The 30-day comment period ends on Sept. 1, 2023. The Nashville District is soliciting feedback on proposed changes to hydropower ramp rates, sluice gate operations, and minimum flow requirements at Center Hill Dam. Comments may be sent via email to



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