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Rutherford Co. Landfill Update

Terry’s Take to Debut Soon

Middle Point Landfill is Denied a Northern Expansion

As you may be aware, Middle Point Landfill applied for a northern expansion towards Jefferson
Pike back in 2021. If granted, the expansion could have extended the lifespan of Middle Point
for around 30 years. I, along with our Rutherford County legislative delegation and the
Murfreesboro City Council opposed the expansion.

The process to obtain a permit for expansion is fairly extensive and usually involves a legal
process and other steps depending on how the Jackson Law (local city/county approval) or local
authority (solid waste boards) impacts the process.

One step involved the Central Tennessee Region Solid Waste Planning Board and its authority
to provide a 10-year solid waste plan for the region. The board, which consists of members
from Rutherford, Coffee, Cannon, and Warren Counties, ultimately rejected the expansion of
Middle Point Landfill because the expansion did not fit in the 10-year plan. Republic challenged
the decision in court and on Friday, Sept. 8, the court ruled in favor of the board’s decision to
reject the expansion.

While the judge’s ruling is great news, for now, the results are even better because in 2022 I
wrote and passed a bill to prevent the commissioner of the Tennessee Department of
Environment and Conservation (TDEC) from circumventing the ruling of the judge. The
Murfreesboro city attorney provided some feedback and State Sen. Dawn White co-sponsored
the bill in the Senate. The entire Rutherford County delegation signed on as co-sponsors and I
was able to get House Speaker Cameron Sexton to co-sponsor as well.

Prior to 2022, there was nothing in statute that prohibited the commissioner of TDEC from
granting an expansion permit even if a judge ruled against an expansion.
House Bill 1842, which passed last year, ensures that the commissioner of TDEC must abide by
the judge’s ruling and cannot just issue a permit for expansion.

Thus, based on the ruling and combined with the new law, as of now, there will not be a
northern expansion of Middle Point Landfill. Unfortunately, as I have confirmed with TDEC,
Republic can appeal the decision and it appears they will. That being said, an appellate court in
Davidson County just recently ruled against the expansion of another landfill. So, there is a
recent decision against expanding landfills.

Debuting Soon: Terry’s Take on Substack

The second piece of news that I have is that beginning this month, I will post updates on my
new Substack page called Terry’s Take. This page will be less formal, and the content will be a
mix of opinions, updates, and articles. It is not an official representative page and will not be an
open forum.

If you would like to provide feedback, ask questions, or make suggestions for future topics, you
can message me through Substack or send an email to [email protected] or
[email protected].

Since the Substack is not an official extension of a legislative office, any legislative issue will still
need to be emailed to [email protected].

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