House Repubs blow up rock quarry blasting bill

House Republicans on Tuesday dealt a fatal blow to Nashville lawmakers trying to block a quarry from blasting near the Old Hickory Dam, shattering the measure on a voice vote and leaving little hope other attempts will be any more successful once they pick up the pieces.

Further from Andrea Zelinski:

“God help us,” Nashville Rep. Bill Beck said, walking out of the committee room after the vote.

“I have three other bills that would address the situation in different ways, and we’re going to put them on notice. Unfortunately, they’re in front of the same committee,” Beck told Post Politics, “And this committee is not friendly to preserving the welfare and the safety of the people of Nashville, which is absolutely a crime in my estimation.”

The legislation was a tough sell from the beginning. Not only has the legislature been known to unravel Nashville-area policies it believed hampered business in the past, but the legislation sought to convince Republican supermajorities in both chambers to go against a major tenet of their party by telling a private company what it can’t do on its own property.

Sen. Steve Dickerson, a Senate Republican who represents much of Davidson County’s outer edge, said he is willing to take up a fight akin to a hobbit slaying Smaug the Dragon. Losing could mean risking a “catastrophic event” should blasting at the quarry jeopardize the integrity of a dam sitting on compacted wet sand 600 feet away and cause an estimated $2 billion in damage should it parallel the devastating Nashville flood of 2010.