There were no comments or questions and there were no neighbors in attendance at a water quality hearing for the Amazon.com warehouse and distribution center.
TDEC hearing officer Mike Lee still took about 20 minutes to announce the purpose of the hearing.
The only other speaker was Bill Phillips of Envision Ecology who took about five minutes to provide details of relocating the stream. Approximately 2,400 feet of stream will be relocated 250 to 300 feet east of its current location and another 400 feet will be added using modern technology.
He said the steam is intermittent with water flowing in it about three months of the year. Phillips described the steam as “blown out” by water flowing through an unstable channel where in some cases, the banks were undercut and over-widened in other situations.
He said the stream comes from under the interstate and has been acting like a large hose by sending water downstream with great force.
“Looking at the vegetation, you can see the trees are about 20 years old, so there had to be some clear-cutting at one time and some of it had been planted back into pine trees for the paper industry,” he said.
He said after the stream is relocated, there will be less erosion and less silt flowing downstream into Mouse Creek, which flows into the Hiwassee River.
The new meandering stream will be designed to capture all runoff from about 370 acres; the bank will be stabilized and covered with coconut matting.
Phillips said the stream will be monitored over the next five years and longer if any problems arise, but he expects any problems to be fixed in the first year.
The fulfillment center for Amazon.com will be located on the southeast quadrant of the intersection formed by Lauderdale Memorial Highway (SR 308) and Interstate 75 in the county’s northern sector.
The site is located near I-75 Exit 33 adjacent to an existing distribution center operated by General Electric. Investment in the local plant, scheduled to be a 1 million square-foot facility, would total $63.1 million. The company projects full-time employment of approximately 226 people and the possibility of an additional 600 to 800 temporary jobs in peak seasons.