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Judge dismisses Franklin claims against environmental group

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A federal judge has blocked the city of Franklin's efforts to countersue an environmental group that is suing the wealthy municipality over pollution from its wastewater treatment plant.

Franklin claimed in court papers that a lawsuit by the Harpeth River Watershed Association was a form of extortion. U.S. District Judge Kevin Sharp on Wednesday dismissed the counterclaim and encouraged the parties to have some, his words, "adult conversation" to resolve their differences.

The nonprofit claims the city is polluting the Harpeth River with overflows from the sewage system, in violation of the federal Clean Water Act. Franklin says most of the association's claims should be dismissed because many of the overflows happen on private property or never reach the river.