Proposed Joelton gas compressor could lead to closure of Walden’s Puddle

JOELTON, Tenn. (WKRN) — The future of Middle Tennessee’s only professional wildlife rescue organization may be in jeopardy due to a proposed gas compressor.

Walden’s Puddle may have to shut down if a proposed gas compressor is built in Joelton.

Nearly 3,500 injured or orphaned animals a year find refuge at the rescue. Once the animals are rehabilitated, they are released back into the wild.

“When we rehabilitate these animals and set them free, it’s almost like we are set free. It does something for us spiritually we can’t even describe. It’s important for us as a community to care about these little ones,” said Land Brody who runs the facility.

But Tennessee Gas Pipeline company wants to build a compressor station nearby.

Brody says the compression station could cause environmental issues and hurt the already fragile wild animals.

She is concerned about toxic air emissions, groundwater contamination and noise.

Joelton residents are also banding together, with signs that read “not in my backyard” displayed all over the area.

Brody hopes more people express their concerns.

“That everybody speaks out that they are against having this in this area. It should be zoned in an industrial area. That is where it needs to go,” she said.

There is a public meeting set to discuss the issue on Thursday.

The ordinance, BL2015-1210, was introduced by Councilman Lonnell Matthews to restrict gas compressor stations to property zoned for industrial use.

It will go before the Metropolitan Planning Commission for recommendation Thursday, June 25 at 4 p.m.  The ordinance will be item 17 on the agenda.

The meeting will be held at the Sonny West Conference Center on the Ground floor of the Howard Office Building.

News 2 spoke with the gas company’s spokesperson Richard Wheatley by phone.

He told News 2, “We just have to meet with them, which we are willing to do. We are certainly glad to meet with any business or residents inthe area to discuss the plant.”

In regard to the impact on Walden’s Puddle or any other local business, Wheatley says, “The location of the plant should in no way impact local business in that area.”

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