OK, I see my posts ahve stirred up a hornet's nest! Good!
First of all, I WOULD NOT suggest paying a HIGH-PRICED LAWYER. To me, paying ANY lawyer $1 is HIGH-PRICED!
Most of them are IGNORANT of the law anyway! It all revolves around the Uniform Commercial Code ( UCC or the Code), first published in 1952.
If there is NO LAW on the books for a dredging ban, there is NO LAW AGAINST IT, period! They can't charge you for a statute that DOES NOT EXIST.
Now the trouble is, the law is so CONVOLUTED, you need a LEGAL DICTIONARY to define heads or tails.
And with a sharp lawyer (some read as "crooked"), he/she can define good as evil and evil as good.
So as tgwgoat stated, Do your homework before you jump in head first with that dredge
Years ago, I worked with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process with the Department of Energy (DOE). So I am well aware of the environmental impact statement (EIS) and environmental assessment (EA) process. And they require public notices, public participation, and a comment period prior to promulgation of new environmental regulations. The other thing to consider is that the Corps of Engineers "owns" the banks and may require permits to modify them. So that is why the 12-inch rule is applied.
Now to borrow from tgwgoat,
Title 69 Waters, Waterways, Drains And Levees
69-3-102. Declaration of policy and purpose.
(a) Recognizing that the waters of Tennessee are the property of the state and are held in public trust for the use of the people of the state, it is declared to be the public policy of Tennessee that the people of Tennessee, as beneficiaries of this trust, have a right to unpolluted waters. In the exercise of its public trust over the waters of the state, the government of Tennessee has an obligation to take all prudent steps to secure, protect, and preserve this right.
This is pretty much a catch all part of it.^
There, fixed it
I could argue that dredging removes hazardous materials from the water (lead and mercury) and provides food for the fish. Therefore, our dredging efforts, as long as we stay away from the banks and fill in the holes when we're done, provides cleaner waters than before. And as citizens of this state, we are providing a service that the state (government) of Tennessee fails to provide
. Thus my tongue in cheek statement that the state should PAY us for our efforts!
And as for dredge spoils, the sediment I put back into the river came from the river. It will settle quickly. It is a lot less than the runoff of sediment from fields, logging, coal flyash, dirt bikes, or other commercial or recreational activities allowed in the state.
Proper education with the state legislators can make a difference. They need to be educated by those informed. And not just by a bunch of "greenie weenies" that cry when someone cuts down a tree. California has too many of those flakes and that's why California is like a box of granola - full of fruits and nuts!
And this should not be limited to just the state but the national parks as well. They allow fishing in the national parks, but who is picking up the lead sinkers, treble hooks, and the like that the fishermen leave behind? If the federal government doesn't have the resources to provide this environmental protection and the people are willing, then the state and the feds should allow it (as long as they allow me to keep the gold I find in the process). A WIN-WIN for both parties.
(OK, stepping off my soapbox now...)