After repeated violations, state zeroes in on trash dump in Cann - WSMV News 4

After repeated violations, state zeroes in on trash dump in Cannon Co.

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Residents took photos of the trash as it piled up. (WSMV) Residents took photos of the trash as it piled up. (WSMV)

When the trash began to pile up outside the metal containers at the Cannon County transfer station, residents began taking photos, disgusted as the debris began to mount and higher.

One of those photos made its way to the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation and struck a nerve; after all, record show investigators had repeatedly found the same problems for several months late last year.

A review of state inspections of the site and through photographs provided by several residents, the News 4 I-Team found long before the problems this month, the state was already frustrated with the management of the site and its ultimate supervisor, county executive Mike Gannon.

On Jan. 6, a home-made cardboard sign posted on social media alerted residents simply read, “Closed for repairs.”

The trash then began to pile up on the ground; so high that one resident alerted TDEC, who investigated the very next day.

In an email statement to the I-Team, TDEC communications director Eric Ward that the state would be issuing a letter of violation.

The email would go on to reference what would be later confirmed in examination of inspection records by the I-Team: that the state had repeatedly inspected the site beginning in August 2017 and found over and over again, trash piled on the ground.

“We are also evaluating further enforcement action based on the County’s recent history of noncompliance,” Ward wrote.

Starting in August 2017, a TDEC inspector found excessive waste underneath the compactor and under and around the metal trailer.

In subsequent inspections, in September and October, inspectors found waste underneath the compactor and spilling out.

In November, TDEC met with Gannon, who, according to records of the meeting, committed to closer oversight of the employees and stated he was two inmates short that have helped out at the site in the past.

In his email to the I-Team, Ward wrote that at that meeting, the county was given 30 days to respond with a plan for fixing the repeated issues.

“As of today, we have not received a response,” Ward wrote.

It should be stated, when the state arrived to inspect after the Jan. 6 photos were submitted, the trash had been picked up and transported to Rutherford County.

The I-Team reached out to Gannon on his cell phone for comment, but has yet to hear from him.

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