Proposed 'fuel terminal' in Dickson County fuels controversy

Dickson Fuel
Posted at 10:31 PM, Jul 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-02 23:31:29-04

DICKSON COUNTY, Tenn. (WTVF) — A proposal for a "fuel terminal" in Dickson County has people who live nearby concerned about the project's impact on the environment.

The facility is proposed by Titan Partners and is planned to go near the Interstate 40 and Interstate 840 interchange in Dickson County. The "fuel terminal" would pipe in fuel from the Midwest using existing pipelines, then store the fuel. Tanker trucks would transport the fuel to gas stations and other buyers across the area. David Conti, a spokesperson for Titan Partners, said the project will bring construction jobs to the county, as well as $3.2 million in property taxes over the building's first ten years. The area is currently zoned as heavy industrial.

Titan Partners has set up a website to answer questions about the project.

Once construction is complete, the facility would provide three full-time jobs, according to Titan Partners.

Some people who live nearby worry those benefits don't outweigh the risk of the fuel terminal, and have concerns about what the facility could mean for the environment in southern Dickson County.

"We don't want the pollution, we don't want the traffic, we don't want to pay taxes so they can move here," John Reuters, who lives a block away from the proposed site, said. Neighbors who spoke with NewsChannel 5 said their main concern is the area's water.

"It's only 600 yards from Nails Creek," Reuter explained. "Nails Creek feeds Turnbull Creek, and Turnbull Creek provides water for both Dickson County and Cheatham County... so if anything happens whatsoever you have multiple water companies that are going to be scrambling."

Neighbors also have concerns about noise and air pollution that could come from hundreds of tanker trucks going to and from the site on a weekly basis.

"They say there going to have 100 trucks again running 24/7," Reuter said. "I can smell the fumes already."

"Protecting the air, protecting the water, protecting the environment is a top top priority for us," Conti said. "We'll have numerous, numerous features and technologies and systems in place to ensure the clean air and clean water of Dickson County is protected.

EPA records show Buckeye Partners, the parent company of Titan Partners, has been cited dozens of times for breaking environmental regulations, racking up more than $4.7 million in fines from local, state and national agencies. The list includes violations at fuel terminals similar to the ones planned in Dickson County.

"Each incident that has happened in the past, that's something that we look to learn from, so we're coming into this with lessons learned, and the best technology at hand," Conti said .

But Reuter said lessons aren't good enough.

"They have 69 violations... and the latest one was just in April of this year, and if they continue to have violations like this, why should we believe that they’re going to make this place any better?"

Next week, the project goes in front of several different boards, commissions and committees. The marathon of meetings starts on Tuesday, when the facility has a hearing in front of the Dickson County Board of Zoning Appeals. The appeal is whether the project needs additional permits that deal with oil refineries. On Wednesday TDEC will discuss the project at an air pollution hearing. The Dickson County Planning and Zoning Committee also meets next week. A road-widening project that would happen in conjunction with the facility was scheduled to be discussed at a Dickson City Council meeting on Monday, but that has been deferred to a later meeting.