The Tennessee Environmental Council and an East Nashville nonprofit organization have filed a citizen suit against PSC Metals for alleged environmental violations in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee.
PSC Metals operates a scrap metal recycling facility on the East bank of the Cumberland River. TEC and Rediscover East! claim that PSC Metals has been illegally dumping contaminated stormwater into the river to the detriment of local citizens.
The lawsuit references a 2011 Environmental Protection Agency report that slams PSC Metals for having a “consistent history of polluting the Cumberland River via illicit discharges of process water mixing with stormwater.”
The federal Clean Water Act allows citizens to file suit after giving a 60-day notice to the alleged offender, the EPA and the state. The plaintiffs filed that notice in January.
The notice claims that water samplings from a drain used by PSC had elevated levels of suspended solids, copper, lead, iron and zinc when tested in September 2010. Other samplings in 2011 and 2012 allegedly found industrial waste, oil and grease in the water.
The plaintiffs are asking the court to issue an injunction against PSC Metals to stop the alleged pollution. The suit also demands the maximum penalty under law — $37,500 per day everyday since Sept. 10, 2010.
PSC Metals general counsel at its corporate offices in Ohio couldn’t be reached for comment Thursday.
The PSC Metals scrap yard has long been seen as an eyesore in Nashville. The city has attempted to discuss relocating the metal processors off of their prime real estate in downtown Nashville.