Court of Appeals overturns decision to dismiss lawsuit involving US Nitrogen pipelines

GREENE COUNTY, TN (WJHL) – Several people in Greene County say they are finally getting their voices heard after the Tennessee Court of Appeals overturned a decision to dismiss a lawsuit from landowners.

The lawsuit challenges the placement of water pipelines that are used by US Nitrogen.

Jack Renner has lived on Fish Hatchery Road his entire life and owns multiple acres of farmland.

A couple of years ago, he says the Tennessee Department of Transportation showed up to dig on his property.

“The reason I didn’t want them there is I own the property, not them. They never asked me to come across the property,” Renner said.

TDOT was there to install pipelines that expand from the Nolichucky River approximately 10 miles down the road to the US Nitrogen plant.

Soon after the pipe installation, six landowners, including Renner and his neighbor Don Bible filed a lawsuit.

“We tried to protect our property,” Bible said.

He and Renner say not only are they upset that their property was used, they are also concerned about possible chemicals that could be going into the Nolichucky River close to their homes.

Their original lawsuit was dismissed by a Davidson County Chancellor.

But the Tennessee Court of Appeals overturned that decision. The 18 pages were filed last Tuesday.

“We’re glad after basically three years that we do have a chance to say something in court. Up to now basically we haven’t been able to open our mouth,” Bible said.

Now Bible and Renner are hoping for the best.

“It could go to the point of them removing the pipeline and that’s what I’d like to see them have to do,” Bible said.

“There’s nothing right about them taking your property. There’s nothing right about it. Period,” Renner said.

We are told US Nitrogen, the Industrial Development Board and TDOT have 60 days to appeal.

We reached out to TDOT. It declined comment.

US Nitrogen said “As it stands, any next steps will make their way through the legal process.”

Copyright 2017 WJHL. All rights reserved.

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