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Public Comments Sought On A.O. Smith Levee Plans

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Nashville District, is seeking public comments from now through June 6, 2019, regarding a proposal by A.O. Smith to build a flood control levee around the north, west, and south sides of the facility, which would involve streams and wetlands adjacent to the Cumberland River. The proposed concrete and earthen levee would be built partially on A. O. Smith property and on approximately 9.19 acres of government property, with soil obtained partially from the water heater company’s land and from land owned by Ashland City, Tenn., according to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ public notice. The levee would also surround and protect the nearby Cumberland Electric Membership Cooperative and the Ashland City Wastewater Treatment Plant.

The levee would fill about 3.67 acres of wetlands and would impact about 986 linear feet of stream channel, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said. The proposal includes compensatory mitigation for impact on wetlands, which includes the creation of 14.44 acres of new wetlands on A.O. Smith property. Of the impacted streams, about 270 linear feet would be encapsulated, 24 feet would be relocated, and 692 feet would be excavated.

Habitats for the endangered Indiana bat and the threatened northern long-eared bat were also found present at the site, according to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. However, assessment reports indicated no significant adverse effects to wildlife, fish, or humans were expected as part of the proposed construction of the levee.

The dimensions of the earthen sections of the levee would range from 75 feet to 150 feet wide and 13 feet to 27 feet tall, while the concrete floodwalls would range from 8 feet to 25 feet high and up to 30 inches in thickness.

Because government lands are involved, federal officials must approve the proposal, and state and local officials must also determine whether any water quality standards are impacted.

Public hearings on this proposal may be requested by contacting the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in writing via letter or email, and comments may be submitted as well to Nashville District Corps of Engineers Regulatory Division, Attn: Amy Robinson, 3701 Bell Road, Nashville, Tenn., 37214, or email:

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